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US Department of Labor takes action to reduce miners’ exposure to silica dust as work continues on an improved health standard

First published by MSHA

MSHA launched unprecedented effort to protect miners
from serious illnesses such as black lung disease, silicosis

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration has launched a new enforcement initiative to better protect the nation’s miners from health hazards resulting from repeated overexposure to respirable crystalline silica. MSHA reports silica dust affects thousands of miners each year and, without adequate protection, miners face risks of serious illnesses, many of which can be fatal.

Crystalline silica is a common mineral found in the earth’s crust. Materials like sand, stone, concrete and mortar contain crystalline silica. Respirable crystalline silica – minute particles at least 100 times smaller than ordinary beach sand – becomes airborne during cutting, sawing, grinding, drilling, and crushing stone and rock.

Without proper protections and engineering controls in place, miners can be exposed to dangerous levels of crystalline silica particles, which increases their risk of developing serious silica-related diseases. These conditions include incurable lung diseases such as coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, commonly referred to as “black lung;” progressive massive fibrosis, the most severe form of black lung; silicosis; lung and other cancers; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; and kidney disease.

“Simply put, protecting miners from unhealthy levels of silica cannot wait,” said Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health Chris Williamson. “We are committed to using every tool in MSHA’s toolbox to protect miners from developing debilitating and deadly lung diseases that are entirely preventable. We have seen too many miners carrying oxygen tanks and struggling to breathe just to take a few steps or do the simplest of tasks after having their lungs destroyed by toxic levels of respirable dust.”

“Our agency is working hard and is committed to issuing a silica rule that will enhance health protections for all miners. The enforcement initiative that we are announcing today is a step we can take now while we continue the rulemaking process toward the development of an improved mandatory health standard,” Williamson added.

As part of the program, MSHA will conduct silica dust-related mine inspections and expand silica sampling at mines, while providing mine operators with compliance assistance and best practices to limit miners’ exposure to silica dust.

Specifically, the silica enforcement initiative will include:

  • Spot inspections at coal and metal nonmetal mines with a history of repeated silica overexposures to closely monitor and evaluate health and safety conditions.
  • Increased oversight and enforcement of known silica hazards at mines with previous citations for exposing miners to silica dust levels over the existing permissible exposure limit of 100 micrograms. For metal and nonmetal mines where the operator has not timely abated hazards, MSHA will issue a 104(b) withdrawal order until the silica overexposure hazard has been abated. For coal mines, MSHA will encourage changes to dust control and ventilation plans to address known health hazards.
  • Expanded silica sampling at metal and nonmetal mines to ensure inspectors’ samples represent the mines, commodities, and occupations known to have the highest risk for overexposure.
  • A focus on sampling during periods of the mining process that present the highest risk of silica exposure for miners. For coal mines, those processes include shaft and slope sinking, extended cuts and developing crosscuts, while metal and nonmetal sampling will focus on miners working to remove overburden.
  • Reminding miners about their rights to report hazardous health conditions, including any attempt to tamper with the sampling process.

In addition, Educational Field and Small Mine Services staff will provide compliance assistance and outreach to mine operators, unions and other mining community organizations to promote and advance protections for miners.

The recently launched MSHA initiative is intended to take immediate action to reduce the risks of silica dust exposure as the department’s development of a mining industry standard continues.

Silica Enforcement Initiative 


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.

National Forklift Safety Day

First published by Industrial Truck Association

This year we celebrate the 9th annual National Forklift Safety Day (NFSD) on June 14, 2022. We are excited to be able to host this year’s event in person and live online. All are welcome to attend in person or virtually. Whether you are a member of the ITA, work in the material handling industry, government or come from the end user community, we invite you to take part in NFSD 2022.

National Forklift Safety Day 2022
June 14, 2022
National Press Club
Washington, DC

Register Now!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER TO ATTEND NFSD 2022 VIRTUALLY

Our speaker line-up this year includes:

  • Chuck Pascarelli, President, Americas, Hyster-Yale Group (Chairman, ITA Board of Directors)
  • Douglas Parker, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA)
  • Jonathan Dawley, President & CEO, KION North America, (NFSD Chair 2022)
  • Lorne Weeter, Vice President of Sales, Mobile Automation, Dematic
  • Brian Duffy, Director of Corporate Environmental and Manufacturing Safety, Crown Equipment Corporation

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 PHMSA seek input ahead of UN meeting on GHS, transport of hazardous goods

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

OSHA UN meeting GHS

Washington — OSHA has scheduled a virtual public meeting for June 15 in advance of the 42nd session of the United Nations UN Sub-Committee of Experts on the Globally Harmonized System GHS of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals.

In a notice published in the May 31 Federal Register, OSHA requests information and comments as the federal government prepares for the UNSCEGHS meeting – set for July 6-8 in Geneva, Switzerland.

OSHA, along with the U.S. Interagency Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) Coordinating Group, “plans to consider the comments and information gathered at this public meeting when developing the U.S. government positions for the UNSCEGHS meeting.”

OSHA’s meeting will take place in conjunction with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s discussion of proposals ahead of the 60th session of the UN Sub-Committee on Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, set for June 27-July 6.

Comments must be submitted by July 5.

OSHA UN meeting on GHS


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.

2022 Trench Safety Stand Down

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

trenching.jpg

Fairfax, VA — The National Utility Contractors Association, in partnership with OSHA, is calling on employers involved in trench work to participate in the seventh annual Trench Safety Stand Down.

Set to take place June 20-24, the stand-down is aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of trenching and excavation, as well as promoting the use of protective systems such as sloping, shoring and shielding. OSHA’s standard on trenching and excavation (1926.650, Subpart P) requires protective systems for trenches that are 5 feet or deeper, unless the excavation occurs in stable rock.

OSHA warns that trench collapses are “rarely survivable” because a cubic yard of soil can weigh as much as 3,000 pounds. Citing OSHA data, NUCA says 17 workers died in trench incidents in 2018.

The stand-down, which is part of Trench Safety Month, is geared toward “anyone who wants to prevent trenching and excavation hazards in the workplace.” NUCA encourages various occupations to get involved, including those employed in utility, residential and highway construction, as well as plumbers and safety equipment manufacturers. Free online tools, including checklists, fact sheets and videos, are available on the NUCA website.

“NUCA and the utility construction industry members must seek out every measure possible to reduce risks on our jobsites, which we all know can be a dangerous place to work if someone is unaware of its hazards,” NUCA says. “Time and time again, evidence shows that the key to significantly reducing the risks associated with our industry is employee training and reinforcement through events such as the TSSD Week.”


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.

FMCSA extends comment period on speed-limiter proposal

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

orange-semi.jpg

Photo: Missouri Department of Transportation Flickr

Washington — Responding to stakeholder requests, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has extended until July 18 the comment period on a proposed rule that would require the installation of speed-limiting devices on trucks, buses and multipurpose passenger vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds.

As outlined in a notice published in the May 27 Federal Register, the extension provides interested parties additional time to submit responses. The initial deadline was June 3.

FMCSA, in the May 4 Federal Register, published an advance notice of supplemental proposed rulemaking that expands on a 2016 joint proposal from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and FMCSA. The latter is the sole agency listed on the proposal, which doesn’t specify a top speed. The 2016 proposed rule suggested capping speeds at 60, 65 or 68 mph.

FMCSA offers multiple questions on which stakeholders may comment, including:

  • What percentage of the commercial motor vehicle fleet uses speed-limiting devices?
  • If in use, at what maximum speed are the devices generally set?
  • What training or skill sets are needed for motor carriers’ maintenance personnel to adjust or program electronic engine control units to set speed limits?
  • What equipment or tools are needed to adjust or program/reprogram ECUs? How long would the process take, and where can it be completed?
  • Since publication of the notice of proposed rulemaking in 2016, how has standard practice or technology changed as it relates to the ability to set speed limits using ECUs?
    FMCSA extended comment period on speed-limiting

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.

June is National Safety Month

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Every June, the National Safety Council celebrates National Safety Month – an observance intended to raise awareness about keeping each other safe, from the workplace to anyplace. Throughout the month, NSC will release free resources with the goal of helping you create and maintain a culture of safety at your workplace. The resources reflect weekly themes. They are:

  • Week 1: Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Week 2: Workplace impairment
  • Week 3: Injury prevention
  • Week 4: Slips, trips and falls

Watch for four special mini episodes of our “On the Safe Side” podcast also built around the weekly themes.

To learn more about National Safety Month, go to nsc.org/nsm.


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 is extending the comment period on Arizona’s occupational safety and health program

First published by OSHA

OSHA is extending Arizona's occupational

Photo: OSHA

OSHA is extending the public comment period to July 5 on the agency’s proposed reconsideration and revocation of Arizona’s State Plan for Occupational Safety and Health. July 5 is also the new deadline for submitting written testimony or a notice of intention to appear at the public hearing on this issue tentatively scheduled for August 16. OSHA extending Arizona’s occupational

State Plans are OSHA-approved workplace safety and health programs operated by individual states or U.S. territories. State Plans are monitored by OSHA and must be at least as effective as OSHA in protecting workers and in preventing work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths.


OSHA amplía hasta el 5 de julio el periodo de comentarios públicos sobre la propuesta de reconsideración y revocación del Plan Estatal de Seguridad y Salud en el Trabajo de Arizona. El 5 de julio es también la nueva fecha límite para presentar testimonios por escrito o un aviso de intención de presentarse en la audiencia pública sobre esta cuestión, prevista en principio para el 16 de agosto.

Los planes estatales son programas de seguridad y salud en el lugar de trabajo aprobados por OSHA y gestionados por estados o territorios de Estados Unidos. Los planes estatales son supervisados por OSHA y deben ser al menos tan eficaces como OSHA en la protección de los trabajadores y en la prevención de lesiones, enfermedades y muertes relacionadas con el trabajo.


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.

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 offering more than $10.5M in safety grants

First published by MSHA

Grants support underserved mines, miners

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration today announced the availability of more than $10.5 million in fiscal year 2022 state grant funding to provide federally mandated training and retraining of miners and mine operators working at surface and underground coal and metal and nonmetal mines.

Any state in which mining takes place may apply for the grant. MSHA may fund 80 percent of the program costs under a state grant, and the state must provide at least 20 percent of the total program costs.

The closing date for applications is July 25, 2022. MSHA will award grants on or before Sept. 30, 2022.

MSHA recognizes that state training programs are a key source of mine safety and health training and education for individuals who work or will work at mines. MSHA encourages state training programs to prioritize training for small mining operations and underserved mines and miners within the mining industry. The agency also emphasizes training on miners’ statutory rights provided in the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, as amended.


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.

CVSA Releases Results from 2022 Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative

First published by CVSA

DOT's Counter-Trafficking Initiative

Photo: U.S. Department of Transportation

This year, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) launched its new annual three-day Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative. All three of the Alliance’s member countries – Canada, Mexico and the U.S. – participated in this awareness and outreach effort to educate commercial motor vehicle drivers, motor carriers, law enforcement officers and the general public about human trafficking.

Taking into consideration each country’s existing human trafficking awareness dates, CVSA’s Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative was set for different dates in each country. In the U.S., the three-day initiative took place Jan. 11-13. In Canada, it took place Feb. 22-24. And in Mexico, it was March 15-17.

CVSA jurisdictions recorded human trafficking awareness and outreach data and submitted that data to the Alliance. For the 2022 North America-wide Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative:

  • 35 jurisdictions participated.
  • 2,460 individual law enforcement officers/troopers/inspectors participated.
  • There were 163 reported events (possible indicators of human trafficking or documented cases).
  • 13,274 wallet cards were distributed.
  • 6,355 window decals were distributed.
  • 1,818 presentations were delivered.
  • There were 640 media contacts.

The United Nations defines human trafficking as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of people through force, fraud or deception with the aim of exploiting them for profit. Men, women and children of all ages and from all backgrounds can become victims of this crime, which occurs in every region of the world, including North America. Human traffickers often use violence or fraudulent employment agencies and fake promises of education and job opportunities to trick and coerce their victims.

After a successful launch year and input from jurisdictions during the CVSA Human Trafficking Prevention program committee meeting at the CVSA Workshop, the CVSA Board of Directors voted to extend the initiative from three days to five days next year. Next year’s Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative is scheduled for Jan. 9-13, 2023, in the U.S.; Feb. 20-24, 2023, in Canada; and March 13-17, 2023, in Mexico.

“The fight to end human trafficking does not end now that the three-day Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative has concluded,” said CVSA President Capt. John Broers with the South Dakota Highway Patrol. “We remain fully committed to educating the public, every day of the year, about the crime of human trafficking, the signs to look for and what to do if you suspect someone is being trafficked. Our ultimate goal is to eradicate human trafficking entirely.”

Truckers Against Trucking (TAT) collaborated with CVSA on the launch of the human trafficking education and awareness campaign. Training materials were developed and available for industry and law enforcement use. In addition, CVSA worked with TAT to provide an online order form for jurisdiction members to order TAT wallet cards and/or window decals, which are now available year-round.

To find out what your local jurisdiction is doing to increase human trafficking awareness throughout the year, contact the agency/department responsible for overseeing commercial motor vehicle safety within your state, province or territory.


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.

Fraterville Mine Disaster

First published by MSHA

MSHA remembers Fraterville Mine Disaster
Photo property of MSHA

On May 19, 1902 the worst mine disaster in Tennessee history happened at the Fraterville mine. Early in the morning, a coal dust explosion sent debris and toxic methane gas belching from the air flow shaft and out of the mouth of the mine. Of 216 men and young boys working in the mine that day, 190 were killed instantly. In an attempt to close out the deadly gas, the remaining 26 barricaded themselves into a deeper mine passage. Sadly, the men passed away of asphyxiation hours later. Before their tragic passing, they composed notes to their loved ones on the passage walls.

The small town of Fraterville was devastated by the loss and still recall that tragic day 120 years later. To commemorate this event, the Coal Creek Community erected an exhibit that can be seen at the Lenoir Museum located in Norris Dam State Park in Tennessee.

Today we remember and honor the miners who lost their lives at the Fraterville mine, and we remain committed to our mission to prevent death, illness, and injury from mining and promote safe and healthy workplaces for the industry’s greatest resource – miners.


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.