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EPA publishes first installment of controversial risk evaluation for asbestos

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

Washington — Critics of the Environmental Protection Agency are renewing their call for a complete ban on asbestos after the agency’s release of Part 1 of a final risk evaluation that concludes that the substance – a known human carcinogen – presents an unreasonable health risk to workers under certain conditions.

Used in chlor-alkali production, consumer products, coatings and compounds, plastics, roofing products, and other applications, asbestos is among the first 10 chemicals under evaluation for potential health and environmental risks under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act.

Released Dec. 30 and announced via a notice published in the Jan. 4 Federal Register, Part 1 of the final evaluation centers on chrysotile asbestos and states the substance poses unreasonable risk to workers involved in numerous operations, including:

  • Processing and industrial use of asbestos diaphragms in the chlor-alkali industry
  • Processing and industrial use of asbestos-containing sheet gaskets in chemical production
  • Industrial use and disposal of asbestos-containing brake blocks in the oil industry
  • Commercial use and disposal of aftermarket automotive asbestos-containing brakes/lining, other vehicle friction products and other asbestos-containing gaskets

As required under the Toxic Substances Control Act, which the Lautenberg Act amended, EPA must address risks by proposing within one year regulatory actions such as training, certification, restricted access and/or ban of commercial use, and then accept public comment on any proposals.

EPA states that Part 2 of the final risk evaluation is in development, and anticipates releasing a draft scope around the middle of the year. Part 2 will focus on legacy uses and disposals of asbestos, which the agency defines as “conditions of use for which manufacture (including import), processing and distribution of commerce no longer occur, but where use and disposal are still known, intended or reasonably foreseen to occur (e.g., asbestos in older buildings).”

In a press release, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization asserts the two-part approach is incomplete, noting that the agency omits five other types of asbestos fiber beyond chrysotile in Part 1 while failing to address known health effects related to asbestos, including asbestosis and ovarian cancer. Additionally, Part 1 “is based on grossly incomplete information about current asbestos exposure and use,” the nonprofit organization contends.

“EPA’s final risk evaluation ignores the numerous recommendations of its own scientific advisors and other independent experts by claiming that these deficiencies will be addressed in a future Part 2 evaluation,” ADAO President and co-founder Linda Reinstein said in the release. “Based on this sleight-of-hand maneuver, the agency has issued a piecemeal and dangerously incomplete evaluation that overlooks numerous sources of asbestos exposure and risk, and understates the enormous toll of disease and death for which asbestos is responsible.”

The House on Sept. 29 was slated to vote on the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act, a bill that calls for a federal ban of asbestos. The legislation is named for Reinstein’s late husband, who died from mesothelioma in 2006.

However, the bill, which passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee by a 47-1 vote in November 2019, ultimately stalled and was removed from the suspension calendar without a vote, as House Democrats chastised their Republican counterparts for withdrawing their support.

According to an Oct. 1 report published in The Hill, the controversy centered on a provision that guarantees the bill wouldn’t impact ongoing litigation concerning injuries related to the use of talcum powder.

In a joint statement released Oct. 1, Committee Chair Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ), Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee Chair Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) said: “Everyone should be able to support a ban on this known carcinogen, which has no place in our consumer products or processes.”

The group added: “Republicans walked away from this opportunity to ban asbestos merely over language that prevents shutting the courtroom door. This raises serious questions about the sincerity of their intentions.”

Committee Ranking Member Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) and Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee Ranking Member Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) offered a rebuttal in an Oct. 1 statement: “Saying we walked away is simply untrue. All Democrats have to do is drop the language added to the bill by trial lawyers and bring the bill to the floor that every one of their members voted for when it was considered by our committee. If anyone’s intentions should be questioned, we can assure you it’s not ours.”


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.

Working safely with nanomaterials: CPWR publishes new resources

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.
Nanomaterials.jpg

Photo: CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training

Silver Spring, MD — In an effort to protect workers who handle products containing nanomaterials, CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training has released a pair of toolbox talks and an infographic.

Nanomaterials have at least one dimension (height, width or length) that is smaller than 100 nanometers – thinner than a human hair. According to CPWR, hundreds of construction products such as cement, adhesives, and paints and coatings contain engineered nanomaterials. When these materials are cut, sanded or sprayed, the dust or mist produced can get into a worker’s lungs as well as cuts and cracks in the skin.

Each toolbox talk – Airborne Exposures When Working with Nano-Enabled Concrete and Right to Know About Chemical Hazards: Nanomaterials – provides guidance through a short story, key points to remember and a graphic.

CPWR says workers can protect themselves by wearing a respirator, seeking training about nanomaterials and the products that contain them, and controlling for dust via wet methods or the use of a vacuum.

The resources are available in English and Spanish.


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.

Michigan OSHA launches emphasis program on silica

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.
silica.jpg

Lansing, MI — Michigan OSHA intends to conduct inspections at jobsites where workers are most likely to be exposed to respirable crystalline silica, as part of the agency’s recently launched state emphasis program aimed at reducing exposure to silica and preventing silicosis.

Silica is a carcinogen found in sand, stone and artificial stone. MIOSHA’s 12-month emphasis program, announced in the agency’s Fall 2020 online newsletter, includes outreach to affected industries to consult, educate and train employers and the public about the dangers of silica.

MIOSHA has compiled a list of industries with historically high silica exposures and a prevalence of silicosis cases. Establishments on the list could get an unannounced investigation visit to ensure compliance with federal and MIOSHA standards.

The agency has a goal of completing 88 inspections – 2% of the total number of inspections conducted in fiscal year 2019. This matches the goal set by federal OSHA for each of its regions in its national emphasis program, announced Feb. 4.

The agency is offering consultative audits to help establishments identify silica hazards. The audits will help employers develop and implement a comprehensive safety and health system as well as silica exposure monitoring.

Federal OSHA notes that 2.3 million workers nationwide are exposed to silica. When inhaled, these tiny particles – the product of cutting, sawing, grinding, drilling, and crushing stone, rock, concrete, brick, blocks and mortar – increase the risk of serious silica-related diseases such as silicosis, an incurable lung disease. Workers exposed to silica are also at risk for kidney disease, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.


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.

Governor Ducey Extends [non-CDL] Driver License Expiration Dates and Defers Medical Card Renewals

First published by ADOT.

Affects expiration dates through Feb. 28, 2021

PHOENIX – As part of a continued statewide effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and protect the most vulnerable, Governor Doug Ducey has issued an Executive Order deferring renewals of standard driver licenses with an expiration date between March 1, 2020, and Feb. 28, 2021, by one year from their original expiration date.

Prior to this extension, the deferral had applied to renewals of standard driver licenses (Class D and Class M) through Dec. 31, 2020. This action will minimize in-person visits to Arizona Motor Vehicle Division offices for older adults and help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

“We are working hard to ensure Arizona’s most vulnerable are kept safe during the pandemic,” said Governor Doug Ducey. “The standard Arizona driver license expires when an individual turns 65, and renewing a driver license currently requires an in-office visit. Many older adults have been making safe choices and limiting trips outside their home — and today’s order supports those responsible decisions.”

Under this Executive Order, all Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board-certified law enforcement officers as well as state government agencies, county and municipal governments, and election officials will accept Arizona driver license cards with expiration dates between March 1, 2020, and Feb. 28, 2021, as valid identification for any purposes for which unexpired driver license cards would otherwise be accepted.

For example, a person whose standard driver license shows an expiration date of Feb. 10, 2021, will now expire Feb. 10, 2022.

Any driver may see their updated driver license expiration date at AZMVDNow.gov. Drivers have the option to order a duplicate license with the updated expiration date.

ADOT MVD will continue to defer requirements to renew Arizona driver licenses and driving permits, other than Class D and Class M licenses, that have an expiration date between March 1, 2020, and Sept. 1, 2020, by six months from the expiration date. Additionally, ADOT will defer requirements to submit a medical clearance card for the purposes of a commercial driver license through Feb. 28, 2021.

View the Executive Order HERE.


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.

U.S. Department of Labor Reminds Specific Employers to Submit Required 2020 Injury and Illness Data by March 2, 2021

First published by OSHA.

Photo: OSHA

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reminds employers that the agency will begin collecting calendar year 2020 Form 300A data on Jan. 2, 2021. Employers must submit the form electronically by March 2, 2021.

Electronic submissions are required by establishments with 250 or more employees currently required to keep OSHA injury and illness records, and establishments with 20-249 employees classified in specific industries with historically high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses.

Visit the Injury Tracking Application Electronic Submission of Injury and Illness Records to OSHA for more information and a link to the Injury Tracking Application.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.


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.

OSHA issues COVID-19 prevention guidelines for cleaning staff

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

See the source image

Washington — A new guidance document from OSHA is intended to help cleaning staff reduce their risk of contracting COVID-19.

Beyond the standard recommendations of wearing a face covering, staying home when feeling ill, washing hands frequently and maintaining at least 6 feet of distance, OSHA says cleaning staff should:

  • Use Environmental Protection Agency-approved disinfectants or cleaning chemicals.
  • Wear disposable gloves to clean, sanitize and disinfect common surfaces.
  • Wipe equipment before and after use.
  • Use the warmest water level that is safe and dry laundry completely.
  • Avoid dry sweeping, if feasible, and the use of high-pressure streams of water.
  • Wash their clothes as soon as they get home, if possible.
  • OSHA also encourages workers to report any safety and health concerns to their supervisor.

    The document is available in English and Spanish.


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.

ADOT distracted driving campaign raises awareness

First published by ADOT.

Enforcement phase of hands-free bill begins January 1

PHOENIX – Perhaps you’ve seen the acrophobia-inducing public service announcements on TV? Maybe heard the rattlesnake’s rattle and hiss while listening to Pandora? Or saw one man distracting a one-ton bull in social media posts, all in the name of preventing distracted driving

Three months after the Arizona Department of Transportation launched its distracted driving awareness campaign “Distracted Drivers Terrify Me,” aimed at reducing the number of people engaging in distracting behaviors while driving, the public outreach effort is still going strong.

And the timing couldn’t be better.

In just a few days, the final phase of the statewide texting and driving ban will go into effect. On Jan. 1, 2021, violators of Arizona’s hands-free law (HB 2318) will become subject to civil penalties. The first violation will result in a fine between $75 and $149 and subsequent violations can be as much as $250, plus applicable surcharges.

That’s an expensive — and dangerous — text message.

“There’s no good reason to text and drive,” said ADOT Director John Halikowski. “Plenty of people think they’re excellent drivers and they can multitask behind the wheel. They’re all wrong. Frankly, people become dangerous drivers when they shift their attention from the road ahead to the tiny screen on their phone. Distracted driving must stop.”

In April 2019 Governor Doug Ducey signed legislation that banned the use of hand-held mobile devices, like cell phones and tablets, while driving a vehicle. It is illegal for drivers to talk or text on a device not engaged in hands-free mode on all roadways in Arizona.

Distracted driving causes thousands of entirely preventable crashes every year. In 2019 in Arizona, at least 10,491 drivers involved in crashes were engaged in distracted driving behavior. Traffic safety stakeholders believe this figure is actually much higher, however, because distracted driving is underreported since drivers often don’t admit to being distracted or died in the crash.


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.

Safety tips if you’re on the road during holidays and beyond

First published by ADOT.

As the Christmas and New Year’s weekends arrive to ring out 2020, we hope you’re combining any travel plans with a focus on health-related safety due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.I-40 Snow Photo East Flagstaff

During recent holiday seasons, ADOT has focused on safe driving recommendations for people who will be traveling on our highways. But this year we start by emphasizing this reminder: No matter the destination, don’t forget to bring and be prepared to use a mask to help stop the spread of the virus. Have you thought about taking the time now to put a spare, fresh mask or two in your vehicle?

On the highway safety side of the ledger, these reminders apply not only to the holiday season but also the winter travel season, especially if your plans will have you in the high country.

Before you hit the highway, check your vehicle for things such as correct tire pressure, engine fluid levels and the condition of your windshield wipers. Think about whether a visit to your auto maintenance shop is in order.

Get adequate rest before driving. Fatigue, like distracted driving, is a serious highway safety issue you shouldn’t ignore. The same goes for never driving if impaired by alcohol or drugs. Arrange for a designated driver or ride service if necessary. Lives are on the line. Be smart about it.

I-17 Approaching Black Canyon CityBe prepared for changing weather conditions, especially in our high country. Take time ahead of a trip to put together an emergency prep kit that you can put in the trunk or back of your vehicle. Pack things such as an extra change of clothes, blankets, drinking water, healthy snacks, a flashlight and other items that will help keep you comfortable in case you have to stop due to bad weather or an unscheduled highway closure. A fully charged cellphone also is important. ADOT has more information about an emergency kit when you visit azdot.gov/KnowSnow and look for the words “Must Haves.”

When you’re behind the wheel, you and your passengers should be using those seat belts. Don’t race to your destination. Speeding, aggressive and distracted driving are a recipe for serious crashes. If a winter storm is approaching or starting, it’s usually a good idea to let the storm pass before traveling. That way you’re giving ADOT’s snowplow operators time to improve the highways.

If you are driving behind one of our snowplows, stay at least four vehicle lengths back and try to avoid passing one of these big plows.

ADOT and its contractors cooperate in limiting full closures along state highways during the holidays. But work does continue and you should use caution when approaching or traveling through any work zones. This applies no matter what time of year you travel.

Real-time highway conditions are available on ADOT’s Arizona Traveler Information site at az511.gov, by calling 511, using the AZ 511 app and through ADOT’s Twitter feed, @ArizonaDOT(link is external). When a freeway closure or other major traffic event occurs, ADOT’s free app available at azdot.gov/ADOTalerts will send critical information directly to app users in affected areas – where possible, in advance of alternate routes.

Remember to focus on safety. We’ll want to see you in 2021. Happy Holidays.


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.

MSHA – Mine Fatality #26

First published by MSHA.

MINE FATALITY – On November 23, 2020, a miner was electrocuted while troubleshooting a disconnect box for the classifier drive motor. The victim had the electrical disconnect box open and the main power supply was not deenergized.

Accident scene where a miner was electrocuted while troubleshooting a disconnect box for the classifier drive motor. The victim had the electrical disconnect box open and the main power supply was not deenergized.
Best Practices:
  • Ensure electrical circuit components are properly designed and installed by qualified electrical personnel.
  • Ensure electrical troubleshooting and work are performed by people with proper electrical qualifications. Positively identify the circuit on which work will be conducted.
  • Before performing electrical work, locate the visual disconnect away from an enclosure and open it, lock it, and tag it, to ensure all electrical components in the enclosure are de-energized. Verify by testing for voltage using properly rated test equipment.
  • Wear properly rated and well maintained personal protective equipment, including arc flash protection such as a hood, gloves, shirt and pants.
  • Train miners on safe work practices for electrical equipment and circuits.
Additional Information:

This is the 26th fatality reported in 2020, and the second classified as “Electrical.”


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.

Stay safe when using portable generators

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.
portable-generator.jpg

Portable generators can be found in many workplaces. Among the risks users face, according to OSHA, are shocks and electrocution from improper use of power or unintentionally energizing other electrical systems, and fires from improperly refueling the generator or not storing fuel correctly.

A major (and potentially deadly) hazard is exposure to carbon monoxide – a colorless, odorless, toxic gas that’s produced from a portable generator’s exhaust. Signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include dizziness, headaches, nausea/vomiting, tiredness, confusion and loss of consciousness. If a worker is showing any of these symptoms, get him or her to fresh air and seek medical attention.

“Do not reenter the area until it is determined to be safe by trained and properly equipped personnel,” OSHA cautions.

Help workers avoid carbon monoxide poisoning while working with portable generators by following these tips:

  • Inspect generators for loose or damaged fuel lines.
  • Keep generators dry.
  • Maintain and operate generators according to manufacturers’ instructions.
  • Don’t use portable generators indoors or in an enclosed space such as a basement or garage.
  • Don’t place generators near doors, windows or ventilation shafts where carbon monoxide can enter and build up.
  • Make sure generators have 3 to 4 feet of clearance on all sides and above to ensure adequate ventilation.

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.