December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

First published by Get Smart About Drugs.

Drugged Driving—What You Should Know

Check out a few key frequently asked questions and answers about drug-impaired driving below.

Blurred nighttime road from perspective of a drugged driver

What is drug-impaired driving? Driving under the influence of over-the-counter medications, prescription drugs, marijuana, or illegal drugs.

How common is drug-impaired driving?  In 2019, 13.7 million people (ages 16 and older) drove after using illicit drugs. Of that total,12.8

million people were under the influence of marijuana (2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables).

This is an increase from 2018 when 12.6 million people (aged 16 and older) admitted to driving after using drugs.

In 2016, 44 percent of drivers in fatal car crashes (with known results) tested positive for drugs, according to a report entitled “Drug-Impaired Driving: Marijuana and Opioids Raise Critical Issues for States” by the Governors Highway Safety Association. This is up from 28 percent in 2006.
man with pills behind the wheelWhy is drug-impaired driving dangerous? Over-the-counter (OTC) medications and drugs

affect the brain and can alter perception, mental processes, attention, balance, coordination, reaction time and other abilities required for safe driving. Even small amounts of some drugs can have a serious effect on driving ability.

A national survey showed 22.5% of nighttime weekend drivers tested positive for illegal, prescription, or OTC drugs that can impair driving. (Drug-Impaired Driving: A Guide for States, April 2017. NHTSA 2014 Drug-Impaired Driving Survey)
What substances are used the most when driving? After alcohol, marijuana is the most commonly used drug. (Source: National Institute of Drug Abuse)

What happens when you use drugs and drive? Marijuana can decrease a person’s ability to drive a car. It slows reaction time, impairs a driver’s concentration and attention, and reduces hand-eye coordination. It is dangerous to drive after mixing alcohol and marijuana. Driving after using prescription drugs or over-the-counter medicine, such as cough suppressants, antihistamines, sleeping aids, and anti-anxiety medications may impair driving ability.

Read More


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.

 

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First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

COVID-19 has changed the way we all work. Some of us never stopped physically going to work, while others have been working remotely since mid-March. No matter where we are, working during a pandemic has added stress to our daily lives. How you deal with this stress can positively or negatively affect your well-being.

Some of the symptoms of COVID-19-related stress, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, include concern about being exposed to the disease at work, taking care of your loved ones while you’re working, managing a change in workload, and uncertainty about the future of your workplace or employment.

Manage job stress by following these tips from CDC:

  • Communicate with your co-workers about job stress while maintaining physical distancing.
  • Identify factors that cause you stress, and work together with your colleagues to develop solutions.
  • Increase your sense of control by creating a consistent daily routine when you can. If you work from home, set a regular time to stop working each day.
  • Stick to a regular sleep schedule. The National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to nine hours of sleep a night for adults.
  • Take breaks from work to stretch, exercise or check in with your co-workers, family and friends.
  • Get active: Spend time outdoors, either exercising or relaxing.
  • Ask your supervisor or human resources department about the mental health resources your organization offers.
  • During non-work hours, spend time doing activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns, how you’re feeling or how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting you.
  • Take breaks from watching or reading news stories. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting and mentally exhausting.

For more information, go to sh-m.ag/3k6mGeR.


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Parking lot safety

parking-lot.jpg
First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

Parking lots can be a safety risk for workers, especially with the sun setting earlier during the winter months.

When you’re returning to your vehicle, always try to walk with a co-worker or security officer, the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety recommends. Then, give your escort a ride back to the building. Other tips:

  • Park in a highly visible and well-lit area near your building.
  • If you park in a garage, look for a spot near the parking attendant, if there is one, or near the stairs or a well-lit exit.
  • Use the main building entrance – avoid rear or secluded exits.
  • Have your keys out and ready as you approach your vehicle.
  • Don’t approach anyone loitering near your vehicle. Walk to a safe place or go back inside your workplace, and then call the police.
  • Lock the doors and keep the windows rolled up once you’re in the vehicle.

If you have to walk alone, follow these five tips:

  • Have a co-worker watch you from a window.
  • Wave to them on the way to your vehicle.
  • Wave even if no one is watching to give the illusion that someone is watching you return to your vehicle.
  • Always be alert to your surroundings. Keep your head up and look around.
  • Don’t wear headphones or talk on the phone. These devices can create distractions.

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.

Former OSHA head expects an emergency temporary standard ‘very early’ in Biden administration

David-Michaels.jpg

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

Aurora, CO — Protecting the health and safety of workers during the COVID-19 pandemic will be a high priority for President-elect Joe Biden as he prepares to take office in January, according to former OSHA chief David Michaels.

That starts with OSHA issuing an emergency temporary standard on infectious diseases – something worker advocacy groups and some lawmakers have called for in recent months.

“I don’t think there’s any question that Biden will issue an emergency temporary standard very early in his tenure,” Michaels said during a Nov. 11 webinar on the post-election future of worker safety and health, hosted by the University of Colorado Center for Bioethics and Humanities. “I think you have to do that immediately. The importance of that is employers need to know what the rules are.”

During his presidential campaign, Biden released a 4-Point Plan for Our Essential Workers that called on the Trump administration to immediately release and enforce an ETS to give employers and frontline employees “specific, enforceable guidance” on reducing on-the-job exposure to COVID-19.

Michaels – who led OSHA for seven years under the Obama administration – said he expects an ETS from the Biden administration to include language on physical distancing, mask requirements and workplace ventilation.

“And if [employers] don’t do those things, they have to explain why,” he said. “It will have a huge impact, because standards are a wholesale way to deal with issues that inspections just do on a regional basis. Standards are powerful because many employers want to be law-abiding. They will follow a standard.”

Despite being pushed to issue an ETS on infectious diseases by lawmakers from both parties as well as via multiple petitions and lawsuits from labor unions, federal OSHA officials have consistently reiterated the agency’s position to use existing rules – including its General Duty Clause – to protect workers during the pandemic.

The agency also has relied on dozens of industry-specific guidance documents, which serve only as recommendations to employers. MichiganOregon and Virginia recently have issued ETSs in absence of one from federal OSHA.

Webinar co-presenter Matthew Wynia, a professor and bioethicist at CU, said OSHA guidance leaves open the opportunity for some employers to not follow it.

“The reason for standards is to establish a level playing field,” Wynia said. “You’ve laid a floor and said, ‘You cannot go below this.’”


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.

‘Multiple perspectives’: CSB releases first ‘learning review’ on combustible dust

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Photo: U.S. Chemical Safety Board

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

Washington — Managing and controlling combustible dust should be considered a unique hazard – not simply “tidying up the place,” the Chemical Safety Board says in a recently released learning review document that includes input from workers and industry stakeholders.

Prepared by Dynamic Inquiry LLC on behalf of the agency, the 47-page document compiles feedback solicited by CSB in a Call to Action – issued in October 2018 – stemming from a May 2017 explosion and fire that killed five workers and injured 14 others at the Didion Milling Co. facility in Cambria, WI. The agency sought comments on the management, control and understanding of combustible dust.

“This learning review represents a new method for the CSB to examine an incident,” CSB Chair and CEO Katherine Lemos said in a Sept. 10 press release. “The outcome of this specific review provides an opportunity for dust hazards to be examined from multiple perspectives, which may allow for a greater understanding of preexisting assumptions and scenarios.”

CSB said it found that more efficient sharing of information between companies, industries and regulators – facilitated openly and without fear of punishment and reprisal – was the stakeholders’ most sought-after goal. Numerous respondents to the Call to Action indicated that a possible normalization of the risk contributed to the ongoing difficulty of keeping facilities dust-free.

Additionally, the document renews CSB’s long-standing call for OSHA to issue a standard on combustible dust. CSB identified 386 combustible dust incidents from 1980 to 2017 that resulted in 178 fatalities and more than 1,000 injuries.

Other recommendations for controlling and mitigating combustible dust hazards include:

  • Develop standards to certify dust collection system manufacturers, installation and training.
  • Advance psychological safety within organizations to improve the willingness of personnel to provide information and ask questions.
  • Explore ways to promote effective communication within and between facilities, including eliminating language barriers. “Even the words used to describe combustible dust can introduce vulnerabilities to the system,” the report states.
  • Acknowledge that training doesn’t always ensure learning. Create experiential and collaborative learning methods within facilities.
  • Establish an online forum and/or a “lessons learned center,” which allows the community to explore combustible dust issues and share feedback.

“CSB hopes that this product provides further insight and understanding of combustible dust hazards,” Lemos said. “Our goal is to continue to examine incidents from multiple perspectives to better enhance prevention and continually drive chemical safety.”


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

CVSA reacts to FMCSA rejection of personal conveyance petition

rejection of personal conveyance petition

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

Washington — The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance is evaluating its next course of action after the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on Sept. 18 denied a CVSA petition requesting that the agency update its definition of personal conveyance and clarify a mileage limit.

A letter written by FMCSA acting administrator Wiley Deck and addressed to CVSA Executive Director Collin Mooney claims that the CVSA proposal lacks a “sufficient safety basis” to proceed with rulemaking that “would essentially propose arbitrary limits without any evidence of safety critical events avoided.”

CVSA filed the petition in May, after FMCSA announced a controversial final rule the agency claims adds flexibility to hours-of-service regulations. The rule went into effect Sept. 29.

“We understand the agency’s position on personal conveyance,” Mooney told Safety+Health, “but we still believe that it’s not addressed adequately.”

In June 2018, FMCSA issued guidance intended to clarify both the agricultural commodities exemption and the personal conveyance provision in HOS regulations.

According to the agency, personal conveyance – a driver’s movement of a commercial motor vehicle for personal use – is considered off-duty status and therefore does not affect HOS limitations.

However, CVSA contends in the petition that the guidance is “incomplete” without establishing a maximum distance and/or time a CMV operator can travel under the personal conveyance provision, stating that “a driver could, in theory, drive hundreds of miles over the course of several hours” under this designation, increasing the risk of driver fatigue and impacting roadway safety.

“Even though the agency says that setting a distance or time limit would be arbitrary, on the flip side of things, having things wide open for personal conveyance now is open-ended in itself, which is the whole point in the petition – why it’s creating issues,” Mooney said. “Because it gives the motor carrier industry and drivers an opportunity to hide hours under the premise of personal conveyance, which in fact is a falsification of the hours of service of the records of duty status. So, by providing that loophole, that gateway to camouflage or hide hours, we feel, is very problematic and jeopardizes highway safety.”

Deck writes that the guidance remains “an appropriate response to the issue, given the lack of research and data to support the adoption of specific restrictions.”

According to the guidance – which is effective until June 7, 2023 – other examples of personal conveyance include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Time spent traveling to restaurants and entertainment facilities from en route lodging, such as a motel or truck stop.
  • Commuting between the driver’s terminal and his or her residence, between trailer-drop lots and the driver’s residence, and between worksites and the driver’s residence.
  • Time spent traveling in a motorcoach without passengers to en route lodging, or to restaurants or entertainment facilities and back to the lodging.
  • Time spent transporting personal property while off duty.
  • Authorized CMV use to travel home after working at an offsite location.

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.

FAST Act Extended One Year — But ATM Members Tell Radio Newsmakers There Are Policy Miles to Go

First published by Americans for Transportation Mobility.

Due to a one-year continuation of the federal funding law for surface transportation, Americans can take a breather and know one crisis has been averted in one of the most difficult years in modern history.

Member organizations of the Americans for Transportation Mobility (ATM) Coalition took part in a recent national Radio Media Tour (RMT). They advocated a Congressional furtherance of the FAST (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation) Act, which was set to expire Sept. 30, but also a requisite for a longer-term federal investment plan to rebuild aging highways, bridges and public transit.

Interviews were held in the radio markets of Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Virginia, Washington and national affiliates.

ATM had joined with the Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) to request the extension. Passed by the House and Senate and signed by President Trump, the Continuing Resolution (CR) includes program funding and an additional $13.6 billion added to the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), among some other measures.

FAST Act Can’t Be the Last Act 

The extension is just one step in a steep policy climb, however. Transforming a decaying transportation system into a 21st-century model of technology and mobility will require boosted investment and a bipartisan understanding that waiting — which is costing the country and motorists billions of dollars annually — is more costly than the fix.

“We’ve just kind of taken a generation off as a nation from investing the way that we should and, as a result, there’s projects mounting,” Emily Feenstra, Managing Director of Government Relations & Infrastructure Initiatives for the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), told Ken Johannessen of the national “Conversation Collage Podcast” produced in Wenatchee, Wash.

“We don’t have the money to do the maintenance that we need and the repairs and the modernization that we need to be a world-class economy,” she added.

In the last World Economic Forum (WEF) ranking, America’s infrastructure dropped from ninth to 13th. And ASCE has identified a $2 trillion funding deficit by 2025 and graded the United States’ infrastructure a D+ in its 2017 Report Card.

“Right now we’re just not seeing that kind of longterm infrastructure investment that we need in this country,” said Michael Johnson, President & CEO of the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA), in an interview with the Mid-America Ag Network in Kansas.

Along with discussing the economic fallout of the pandemic and worsening bridges and county roads, Johnson discussed what federal investment means for the Midwest. He emphasized that connectivity, including ports and port roads, is essential for the agricultural industry in this part of the nation.

Revenue for the HTF, which provides federal dollars for surface transportation, comes from motor fuels and trucking user fees, yet the federal gas tax has not been adjusted in 27 years. Based on Congressional Budget Office (CBO) numbers released in September regarding the 10-year cash flow forecast for the HTF, the projected end-of-2030 extra funding needed is still $193 billion, according to Senior Fellow Jeff Davis of the Eno Center for Transportation.

Additionally, AASHTO reported that state departments of transportation (DOTs) need $37 billion through fiscal year 2024 to cover state transportation revenue losses linked to stay-at-home orders, and the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) estimated that public transit agencies require an additional $32 billion of federal funding to address pandemic-related costs and revenue losses.

Speaking to the People 

The ATM is building grassroots awareness of how communities are affected by underfunded infrastructure. It is also zeroing in on infrastructure investment generating economic growth, creating jobs, and propelling interstate and global commerce.

Radio listeners learned about the crises of inadequate investment in states. The conversations turned to: growing cracks in the closed West Seattle Bridge; one in three roads or bridges in Ohio being in poor or mediocre condition; the need for federal dollars to help address traffic congestion on I-81 in Virginia; and Missouri officials dipping into general funds to fix an I-70 bridge that, if not accessible, could bottleneck the entire nation.

“There is a little bit of good news out there. … But we shouldn’t celebrate too much because it just essentially maintains the status quo for another year, and that status quo, in places like Missouri, isn’t great, right? You got more than half of your roads in the state of Missouri [that] are in poor or mediocre condition,” Brian Turmail, Vice President of Public Affairs & Strategic Initiatives of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), told Diane Jones of KLPW in St. Louis.

Spokespeople participating in the RMT included: Emily Feenstra, Managing Director of Government Relations & Infrastructure Initiatives, ASCE; Dr. K.N. Gunalan, “Guna,” President, ASCE; Steve Hall, Senior Vice President for Advocacy & External Affairs, American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC); Michael Ireland, President & CEO, Portland Cement Association (PCA); Ashley Jackson, Senior Director for Government Affairs, National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA); Michael Johnson, President & CEO, NSSGA; Ed Mortimer, Executive Director, ATM; Paul Skoutelas, President & CEO, American Public Transportation Association (APTA); Jeff Soth, Legislative & Political Director, International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE); and Brian Turmail, Vice President of Public Affairs & Strategic Initiatives, AGC.

You can listen to a soundbite from each of the participants below:

Feenstra on “Conversation Collage Podcast”

Gunalan on WAMV-AM

Hall on WERE-AM/”America’s Work Force Radio Podcast”

Ireland on WCCI-FM

Jackson on “Conversation Collage Podcast”

Johnson on Mid-America Ag Network

Mortimer on WSVA-FM

Skoutelas on WERE-AM/”America’s Work Force Radio Podcast”

Soth on WERE-AM/”America’s Work Force Radio Podcast”

Turmail on KLPW-AM/FM

Sign our petition at http://bit.ly/2rk7EZl and share this story with your friends on social media.

Suicide Prevention Legislation is now LAW!

First published by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

On Saturday, October 17, after passing unanimously out of Congress, the President of the United States signed the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act (S.2661) into law. This historic legislation will support the full implementation of the three-digit “9-8-8” dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline through funding guidance, federal reporting, and specialized services for at-risk communities like LGBTQ-youth and Veterans. A well-resourced, easy-to-remember 988 crisis hotline will increase access to necessary resources and support in times of crisis that will save lives.

This is a major victory for the suicide prevention movement. Of the nearly 20,000 bills introduced in a Congressional session, less than 1,000 are ever passed by Congress and signed into law.

AFSP Field Advocates have supported this effort over the past 3 years by emailing, calling, and meeting with their Members of Congress and writing media outlets across the country. It is through these efforts that we have seen real change to bring our country’s mental health system into the 21st century with the full passage of the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act. We thank all of our advocates that have shared their stories and advocated for this landmark legislation.

THANK YOU and CONGRATULATIONS!

There is still much more work to be done as we continue to advocate for a world without suicide. But through our joint efforts and your ceaseless passion we will save lives and bring hope to people effected by suicide. You can see AFSP’s official press release here.

 

Please note that the 9-8-8 crisis hotline will not be nationally available until July 2022. Callers should continue to access the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline through 1-800-273-8255 until 9-8-8 is fully operational


McCraren Compliance offers training and programs to support companies in suicide awareness and prevention. Contact us for additional information to help you with this very important workplace safety.

U.S. Department of Labor’s OSHA Announces $913,133 In Coronavirus Violations

First published by OSHA.

WASHINGTON, DC – Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic through Oct. 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited 62 establishments for violations, resulting in proposed penalties totaling $913,133.

OSHA inspections have resulted in the agency citing employers for violations, including failures to:

OSHA has already announced citations relating to 37 establishments, which can be found at dol.gov/newsroom. In addition to those establishments, the 25 establishments below have received coronavirus-related citations totaling $429,064 from OSHA relating to one or more of the above violations from Sept. 25 to Oct. 1, 2020. OSHA provides more information about individual citations at its Establishment Search website, which it updates periodically.

Establishment Name Inspection
Number
City State Initial
Penalty
Marion Regional Medical Center Inc. 1472689 Hamilton Alabama $9,290
Quest Management Group Inc. 1474518 Tallahassee Florida $24,290
Pensacola Care Inc. 1474819 Tallahassee Florida $11,567
Alliance Health of Braintree Inc. 1473536 Braintree Massachusetts $13,880
Life Care Center of Nashoba Valley 1478339 Littleton Massachusetts $21,115
Alliance Health of Brockton Inc. 1474628 Brockton Massachusetts $12,145
Hackensack Meridian Health Hospitals Corp. 1472186 Hackensack New Jersey $15,422
Essex Residential Care LLC 1472725 West Caldwell New Jersey $13,494
Barnert Subacute Rehabilitation Center LLC 1474902 Paterson New Jersey $13,494
84 Cold Hill Road Operations LLC 1473525 Mendham New Jersey $13,494
Hackensack Meridian Health System 1477909 North Bergen New Jersey $13,494
292 Applegarth Road Operations LLC 1487345 Monroe Township New Jersey $23,133
1515 Lamberts Mill Road Operations LLC 1472780 Westfield New Jersey $26,988
Hackensack Meridian Health Hospitals Corp. 1474520 Hackensack New Jersey $9,639
The Matheny School and Hospital 1476359 Peapack New Jersey $13,494
IJKG Opco LLC 1477379 Bayonne New Jersey $25,061
MPV New Jersey MD Medical Services P.C. 1482167 Nutley New Jersey $23,133
Prime Healthcare Services – St. Michael’s LLC 1472330 Newark New Jersey $25,061
Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health 1475320 Toms River New Jersey $13,494
St. Barnabas Hospital 1472869 Bronx New York $23,133
St. Barnabas Hospital 1473218 Bronx New York $23,133
Northwell Health Orzac Center for Rehabilitation 1476726 Valley Stream New York $23,133
Hudson Pointe Acquisition LLC 1486893 Bronx New York $22,555
VA NY Harbor Healthcare System, St Albans Community Living Center 1474970 Jamaica New York $0
Masonic Village of the Grand Lodge of PA 1475223 Lafayette Hill Pennsylvania $15,422

A full list of what standards were cited for each establishment – and the inspection number – are available here. An OSHA standards database can be found here.

Resources are available on the agency’s COVID-19 webpage to help employers comply with these standards.

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.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.


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.

CVSA Bulletin – Securement of Roll-on/Roll-off, Hook-Lift and Lugger Containers on Vehicle

First published by CVSA.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has issued a new inspection bulletin to help roadside enforcement personnel determine if a roll-on/roll-off, hook-lift, or lugger box/container is properly secured.

Both the U.S. and Canada have regulations for securing roll-on/roll-off and hook-lift containers on commercial trucks, but the rules lack important details. This has led to some confusion among motor carriers, drivers, and enforcement personnel alike.

The new nine-page CVSA bulletin aims to reduce that confusion with photos and clear instructions on how the containers should be secured, whether the truck has a built-in container securement system or not.

The new inspection bulletin is available online at cvsa.org.


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.