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Improving nanomaterial Safety Data Sheets: CPWR launches e-tool

Original article published by Safety+Health
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Photo: CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training

Silver Spring, MD — A new e-tool from CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training is intended to help manufacturers, distributors and importers of products that contain nanomaterials strengthen their Safety Data Sheets.

The free, interactive Nano Safety Data Sheet Improvement Tool poses to users a series of questions to help evaluate their existing SDSs, and then generates a report with recommendations for improvement. That report is based on the 16 sections of an SDS required by OSHA that follow specifications of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals.

Nanomaterials – materials that have at least one dimension (height, width or length) that’s smaller than 100 nanometers – are chemical substances whose microscopic size gives them properties they don’t possess in their larger form.

CPWR has identified more than 800 nanomaterials that are increasingly being used in construction. Those materials include sealants, coatings, paints, concrete, flooring, lubricants and roofing materials. When workers use the materials, they can be exposed to fumes, gases, vapors and dust containing nanomaterials, which can present health hazards.

Knowing which materials could be hazardous allows workers to take precautions to mitigate the risks, according to CPWR, which says SDSs for these products should clearly identify nanomaterials that are present and offer information on potential safety and health risks.

2019 study led by Laura Hodson, the retired coordinator of the NIOSH Nanotechnology Research Center, revealed that only 3% of the nanomaterial SDSs evaluated were satisfactory and 79% needed significant improvement.


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.

Preventable Fatality

Original article published by OSHA

Federal workplace safety investigation of Mapleton foundry worker’s fatal fallinto molten iron finds Caterpillar failed to install required fall protection

Just 9 days on the job, 39-year-old employee suffers fatal burns

MAPLETON, IL ‒ On June 2, 2022, a 39-year-old employee of a Mapleton foundry fell and was immediately incinerated in an 11-foot-deep pot of molten iron heated to more than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. A federal investigation determined that, if required safety guards or fall protection had been installed, the 39-year-old employee’s ninth day on the job might not have been their last.

Caterpillar of Irving, Texas – one of the world’s largest manufacturers of industrial vehicles and equipment – operates the foundry, which produces cast iron engine components.

Investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined the foundry routinely exposed employees to unprotected fall hazards as they worked within four feet of deep ceramic containers of super-heated molten iron. The deceased worker, a melting specialist, was removing a sample of iron from a furnace when they fell into the melting pot.

“A worker’s life could have been spared if Caterpillar had made sure required safety protections were in place, a fact that only adds to this tragedy,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Bill Donovan in Chicago. “Producing more than 150,000 tons each year, Caterpillar’s foundry is one of the nation’s largest and they should be acutely aware of industry regulations to protect workers using smelters and other dangerous equipment.”

Federal safety regulations require employers to install guardrails and restraint systems, or to cover or otherwise eliminate the hazard to protect workers from falls into dangerous equipment.

OSHA cited Caterpillar Inc. for one willful violation and proposed fines of $145,027.

“Caterpillar’s failure to meet its legal responsibilities to ensure the safety and health of workers leaves this worker’s family, friends and co-workers to grieve needlessly,” said OSHA Area Director Christine Zortman in Peoria. “We implore employers to review the agency specific regulations to protect workers from falls into equipment in industrial settings.”

Caterpillar Inc. employs more than 800 workers at the foundry, who provide engine components used for construction and mining equipment, off-highway diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


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.

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

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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.