Washington — Embattled Secretary of Labor R. Alexander Acosta announced his resignation July 12 amid the fallout over his involvement in financier Jeffrey Epstein’s plea deal in a 2008 sexual abuse case in Florida. Read more
Washington — Questions over how to protect workers from heat-related illnesses took center stage during a July 11 hearing convened by the House Workforce Protections Subcommittee. Read more
Washington — Bipartisan legislation recently introduced in the Senate is aimed at limiting the speed of heavy commercial trucks to 65 mph by requiring new trucks to be equipped with speed-limiting devices. Read more
OSHA recently redesigned the Whistleblower Protection Program’s website. The streamlined design highlights important information for employers and employees on more than 20 statutes enforced by the agency. The new whistleblower homepage utilizes video to showcase the covered industries, which include the railroad, airline, and securities industries. The improved navigational structure allows visitors to easily access information on protected activities, filing deadlines, and resources.
A new OSHA Alert offers information and resources to protect workers from heat-related illness when performing activities in high temperatures and humid conditions. The latest in a series of alerts addresses safety hazards and solutions that are associated with specific equipment, events, or activities.
This year’s event is designed to “celebrate the successes of businesses that have implemented safety and health programs in the workplace.” Employers of all sizes and from all industries that seek to recognize their commitment to the safety of workers, customers, the public and supply chain partners are encouraged to participate.
MSHA MINE FATALITY – On June 24, 2019, a 34-year-old contractor with 10 years of experience, received fatal injuries when he fell beneath the wheels of a tractor-trailer. Miners were using a bulldozer to pull the tractor-trailer, which had become stuck in the sand. As the tractor-trailer began to be pulled, the victim was seen walking toward the side of the truck. The victim died at the scene from crushing injuries after being run over by the truck wheels.
- Do not allow people to ride in any area of a vehicle that is not equipped with a seat belt.
- When approaching large mobile equipment, do not proceed until you communicate and verify with the equipment operator your planned movement and location.
- Stay in the line of sight with mobile equipment operators. Never assume the equipment operator sees you.
- Ensure, by signal or other means, that all persons are clear before moving equipment.
This is the 11th MSHA fatality reported in calendar year 2019. As of this date in 2018, there were 11 MSHA fatalities reported. This is the 5th Powered Haulage accident classification fatality in 2019. There were six Powered Haulage accident classification fatalities during the same period in 2018.
The Department of Transportation has announced a new policy permanently banning any driver convicted of human trafficking from ever driving a commercial vehicle again.
According to a press release, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced the rule on July 16, 2019.
It follows up on the recent passage of the “No Human Trafficking on Our Roads Act,” which President Trump signed into law.
The new policy prohibits anyone who has used a commercial motor vehicle in the commission of a felony involving human trafficking from operating any other commercial vehicles for life.
A list of offenses permanently disqualifying people from driving commercial vehicles that require a commercial driver’s license already exists, but it did not include human trafficking offenses.
“The commercial motor vehicle industry is uniquely positioned to help detect and report human trafficking, and thankfully professional drivers’ efforts often bring an end to these tragic situations. Sadly, however, some human trafficking activities are facilitated by the use of commercial trucks or buses,” said FMCSA Administrator Raymond P. Martinez. “By enforcing a lifetime ban on any CMV driver convicted of severe human trafficking, we aim to deliver a strong and effective deterrent to this abhorrent behavior. If a commercial driver is convicted of using their commercial motor vehicle related to human trafficking—that person will never be driving interstate commercial vehicles again.”
Featured Publication: Lighting the Way for Safety and Health Programs
A case study produced through OSHA’s Electric Transmission and Distribution Strategic Partnership illustrates how safety and health programs can protect workers from industry hazards, such as electrocutions, falls, fires, and explosions. The study provides examples of and inspirations for programs that can find and fix hazards before they harm workers