Blog

Department of Labor announces enforcement guidance changes to save lives, target employers who put profit over safety

Original article published by OSHA

Photo: OSHA

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor announced that its Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued new enforcement guidance to make its penalties more effective in stopping employers from repeatedly exposing workers to life-threatening hazards or failing to comply with certain workplace safety and health requirements.

OSHA Regional Administrators and Area Office Directors now have the authority to cite certain types of violations as “instance-by-instance citations” for cases where the agency identifies “high-gravity” serious violations of OSHA standards specific to certain conditions where the language of the rule supports a citation for each instance of non-compliance. These conditions include lockout/tagout, machine guarding, permit-required confined space, respiratory protection, falls, trenching and for cases with other-than-serious violations specific to recordkeeping.

The change is intended to ensure OSHA personnel are applying the full authority of the Occupational Safety and Health Act where increased citations are needed to discourage non-compliance. The new guidance covers enforcement activity in general industry, agriculture, maritime and construction industries, and becomes effective 60 days from Jan. 26, 2023. The current policy has been in place since 1990 and applies only to egregious willful citations.

In a second action, OSHA is reminding its Regional Administrators and Area Directors of their authority not to group violations, and instead cite them separately to more effectively encourage employers to comply with the intent of the OSH Act.

“Smart, impactful enforcement means using all the tools available to us when an employer ‘doesn’t get it’ and will respond to only additional deterrence in the form of increased citations and penalties,” explained Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker. “This is intended to be a targeted strategy for those employers who repeatedly choose to put profits before their employees’ safety, health and wellbeing. Employers who callously view injured or sickened workers simply as a cost of doing business will face more serious consequences.”

These changes in enforcement guidance are important enforcement tools to help deter employers from disregarding their responsibilities to protect workers and ensure compliance with OSHA standards and regulations.

Existing guidance on instance-by-instance citations are outlined in the OSHA Field Operations Manual, and CPL 02-00-080, “Handling of Cases to be Proposed for Violation-by-Violation Penalties.”


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.

Updated guidance details ADA requirements for workers with hearing disabilities

Original article published by Safety+Health

Washington — Although some employers may incorrectly assume otherwise, people with hearing disabilities can be safe and effective workers, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says in an recently updated document.

The document details how the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 applies to job applicants and employees with a hearing disability. It also addresses employer concerns about safety and describes easy-to-access technologies – free or at low cost – that can provide reasonable accommodation.

According to EEOC, about 15% of U.S. adults report having some trouble with their hearing. Hearing conditions such as deafness, being hard of hearing, experiencing ringing in the ears and having sensitivity to noise may be covered under the ADA.

“Employers have a legal responsibility to create fair workplaces for all employees and job applicants who need reasonable accommodations,” EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows said in a press release. “This document will help educate employers on those responsibilities and employees about their rights.”


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.

OSHA and MSHA partner on poster and infographic on preventing heat illness

Original article published by Safety+Health
mining-workers.jpg

Photo: OSHA

Washington — A new poster and infographic from OSHA and the Mine Safety and Health Administration offer best practices to help mine operators and workers prevent heat illness and heat-related hazards.

To start, the agencies recommend easing into work to build tolerance to heat. Almost 3 out of 4 fatalities related to heat illness occur during the first week of work, the poster states.

Other guidance:

  • Provide workers with heat stress training.
  • Implement mine planning, ventilation and air conditioning to reduce heat, when possible.
  • Promote reasonably short work periods and provide frequent rest breaks in cool areas.
  • Wear a hat and light-colored, loose-fitting, breathable clothing, when possible.
  • Drink at least 1 cup of cool water every 20 minutes, even if you aren’t thirsty.

Signs of heat illness include headache, nausea, dizziness, heavy sweating and elevated body temperature. Workers experiencing these symptoms shouldn’t be left alone and should be provided with water in a cool rest area.

If a worker exhibits abnormal thinking or behavior, slurred speech, seizures, or loss of consciousness, call 911 right away and use water or ice to cool the worker immediately. Remain with the worker until help arrives.

The agencies encourage mine operators and workers to use and distribute the poster and infographic.


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.

Operating cranes safely

Original article published by Safety+Health

OSHA recently released a reminder of the importance of crane safety.

“The most common crane hazards leading to serious injuries and fatalities include crane tip-overs, being struck by a crane, electrocutions, being caught in between a crane and other equipment or objects, falls from the equipment, and unqualified operators,” the agency says.

Do you operate a crane on your jobsite? Here are some tips on safe use from OSHA:

  • Don’t operate a damaged crane or one you suspect may malfunction.
  • Don’t attempt to lengthen wire rope or repair damaged wire rope.
  • Don’t use the wire rope or any part of the crane, hoist, or the load block and hook as a ground for welding.
  • Never allow a welding electrode to touch the wire rope.
  • Refrain from removing or obscuring warning labels on the crane or hoist.
  • Never walk under a suspended load or allow anyone else to.
  • Ensure no work is performed on a suspended load that requires a worker to be positioned under it.
  • Always wear personal protective equipment such as gloves, a hard hat, hearing protection, foot protection and eye protection.

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.

Selecting safe vehicles for your employees

Original article published by Safety+Health

If you’re responsible for purchasing or leasing passenger vehicles for worker use, NIOSH says you need to consider two factors to help ensure safety:

  1. How well will the vehicle protect its occupants in the event of a crash?
  2. Which safety features are most effective in preventing a crash?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration assigns occupant protection safety ratings based on combined results from crash tests. NHTSA gives each vehicle one to five stars, evaluating how it performs in crash tests (one star is the lowest rating; five stars is the highest). Those ratings can be found at nhtsa.gov/ratings.

If you’re considering buying or leasing used vehicles, NHTSA provides up-to-date information on vehicle recalls at nhtsa.gov/recalls. Another such resource is CheckToProtect.org, from the National Safety Council.

If you’re going the new vehicle route, your next step should be looking at available automated safety features, also called advanced driver assistance systems. Levels of automation range from zero (no automation) to five (full automation).

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety analyzes crash and injury claims for all years, makes and models of vehicles, comparing vehicles with and without each type of ADAS. In a fact sheet, IIHS summarizes the evidence supporting the benefits of ADAS.

It’s also important that workers using the vehicles understand how automated safety systems work. Forty percent of respondents to a University of Iowa survey said that, at some point, their vehicle had behaved in a way they didn’t understand. This result led to the creation of MyCarDoesWhat.org, in partnership with NSC. This simple, interactive site explains each type of ADAS safety feature, using strategies tailored to fit people of different ages and learning styles.

“The bottom line: Resources are available to help employers and consumers select the safest possible vehicles, and to help drivers understand how automated vehicle safety features work,” NIOSH says.


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.

Do you know how to use an AED?

Original article published by Safety+Health

Photo property of American Red Cross

An AED is used to assess a person’s heart rhythm during a medical emergency. After reading the rhythm, it will administer an electric shock, if needed, to help restore a normal heart rhythm during sudden cardiac arrest.

If a co-worker has lost consciousness, the Mayo Clinic says to follow these steps:

  1. Check to see if the person is breathing and feel for a pulse.
  2. If you don’t feel a pulse and the person isn’t breathing, call 911 if you’re alone with the victim and then begin CPR. If someone is nearby, ask them to call for help and, if possible, ask another co-worker to bring the AED to you.
  3. Turn on the AED when it gets to you. The device will provide you with step-by-step instructions, including how to put the electrode pads on the victim’s chest.
  4. Once the pads are placed, the AED will automatically measure the victim’s heart rhythm and determine if a shock is needed. If a shock is necessary, the AED will direct you to stand back and push a button to deliver the shock.
  5. After the shock is delivered, the AED will guide you to continue CPR if needed.

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.

Highwall Safety Alert

Original article published by MSHA
Since CY 2012, falling rocks and materials from hazardous highwalls have resulted in 9 mining fatalities and 27 serious injuries.
Since CY 2012, falling rocks and materials from hazardous highwalls have resulted in 9 mining fatalities and 27 serious injuries.
Photo property of MSHA
Best Practices
  • Develop and follow a plan for the safe control of all highwalls where miners work and travel in close proximity to the highwall.
  • Train miners to recognize highwall hazards.
  • Conduct highwall examinations and assure hazards (loose rocks, overhangs, trees, etc.) are taken down or supported prior to work or travel near the highwall. Examine more frequently after rain, freezing and thawing.
  • Scale highwalls to eliminate hazards, e.g. loose rocks or overhangs. Perform scaling from a position that will not expose miners to injury. Until hazards are corrected, place warning signs or barricades to prevent entry.
  • Restrict highwall height to allow available equipment to safely scale the highwall. If benching is necessary, provide adequate bench width based on the type of equipment used for routine clearing or scaling operations.
  • Develop blasting plans and use proper blasting techniques. Examine highwalls after blasting.
  • Remove trees, vegetation, and unconsolidated material a safe distance from the top edge of highwalls.
  • Never park equipment, perform maintenance or store materials beneath highwalls.
  • Use diversion ditches or slope the ground so that surface runoff drains away from highwalls.

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.

US Department of Labor seeks nominations for membership to National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health

Original article published by OSHA

Announces appointment of four other members

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is seeking nominations to fill six membership vacancies on the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health.

The 12-member group advises the Secretary of Labor and Secretary of Health and Human Services on matters related to administering the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

OSHA invites nominations to fill the following vacancies: two public representatives; one management representative; one labor representative; one occupational safety professional representative; and one occupational health professional representative. Committee members are appointed by the Secretary of Labor and generally serve two-year staggered terms, unless a member becomes unable to serve, resigns, ceases to be qualified to serve, or is removed by the Secretary.

Submit nominations to the Federal eRulemaking Portal, Docket Number OSHA-2022-0002 by Feb. 2, 2023. Read the Federal Register notice for submission details.

Additionally, Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh has approved the nominations of four other members, in response to a previous request for nominations published on Aug. 1, 2022. The appointed members are:

  • Nancy Daraiseh, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, public representative
  • Kathleen Dobson, Alberici Constructors, Inc., safety representative
  • John Dony, National Safety Council, management representative
  • Rebecca Reindel, AFL-CIO, labor representative

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.

New from OSHA: Heat illness prevention newsletter

Original article published by Safety+Health
hs_original.jpg
Photo: OSHA

Washington — OSHA has published its first issue of Heat Source, the official newsletter of the agency’s Heat Illness Prevention campaign.

The publication features tips on determining hydration levels and a collaboration with the Mine Safety and Health Administration on preventing heat illness in surface and underground mines. It also includes an update from the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health’s work group on heat injury and illness prevention, as well as the winners of the Let’s Talk About Heat Challenge.


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 #1

Original article published by MSHA

MINE FATALITY – On January 4, 2023, a miner was fatally injured while performing maintenance inside a jaw crusher. The pitman assembly (moving jaw) rotated, pinning the miner against the crusher housing.

Accident scene where a miner was fatally injured while performing maintenance inside a jaw crusher.
Photo property of MSHA

Best Practices

  • block machinery components against motion before beginning maintenance or repairs;
  • position miners in a safe location and away from potential pinch point areas;
  • conduct repairs according to manufacturer’s recommendations; and
  • develop procedures for working safely in confined spaces.

Additional Information

This is the first fatality reported in 2023, and the first 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.