National Farm Safety and Health Week set for Sept. 19-25

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication
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Photo: University of Minnesota

Peosta, IA — A series of daily webinars is planned for National Farm Safety and Health Week, scheduled to take place Sept. 19-25.

The theme of the 78th annual event is “Farm Safety Yields Real Results,” a reminder that safety is a vital part of agriculture, according to a press release from the AgriSafe Network, an international nonprofit representing health and safety professionals.

The 10 free webinars will focus on topics relative to agricultural health and safety pros, health care providers, producers, and farmworkers. The event will feature daily themes as well:
Sept. 20: Tractor Safety & Rural Roadway Safety
Sept. 21: Overall Farmer Health
Sept. 22: Safety & Health for Youth in Agriculture
Sept. 23: Agricultural Fertilizer & Chemical Safety
Sept. 24: Safety & Health for Women in Agriculture

National Farm Safety and Health Week has taken place during the third week of September every year since 1944, when the National Safety Council coordinated the project. The National Education Center for Agricultural Safety at Northeast Iowa Community College’s Peosta campus later took control of developing and disseminating each year’s campaign materials.

According to 2018 data from NIOSH, around 2 million full-time workers were employed in production agriculture. Every day, about 100 agricultural workers suffer an injury that results in lost work time.


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.

NSC calls on employers to require employee COVID-19 vaccination

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication
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Itasca, IL — The National Safety Council is urging all employers to implement a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for their workers and unveiled a guide outlining four levels of requirement for various workplace risk profiles.

A recent survey conducted by NSC found that when employers require COVID-19 vaccination, the number of workers who get a shot increases 35%.

“The data is clear: Workplace requirements are a proven way to encourage vaccine uptake and accelerate the country’s path to community immunity against COVID-19,” NSC President and CEO Lorraine M. Martin said. “Consistent with our mission, we’re calling on employers to advance the nation’s progress on living safely with this virus by requiring vaccines in a manner that’s appropriate for their workers’ risk profile.”

To aid employers in their efforts to get workers vaccinated, NSC issued guidance outlining a spectrum of vaccine requirement approaches and considerations for implementation in varying work settings. This release of the guidance comes after the Food and Drug Administration’s recent formal approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

NSC also urges federal and state governments to remove prohibitions or barriers to vaccine requirements, expedite the full approval of vaccines, and issue factual updates on vaccines as quickly as possible.

“It’s clear COVID-19 has and will continue, perhaps indefinitely, to affect the way we live and work,” Martin said. “Employers must put worker health and safety first. That begins with prioritizing vaccination.”

Hear more about NSC’s vaccine implementation plan. NSC will host a webinar at 10 a.m. Central on Sept. 9. Register today.


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.

Research review strengthens link between sarcoidosis, workplace exposures

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Toronto — Findings over the past decade – including the results of case studies in the past two to three years – have strengthened the link between the lung disease sarcoidosis and on-the-job exposures to, most notably, silica and silicates, dust from the World Trade Center, and metals, according to a recent research review.

Conducted by a pair of Canadian researchers, the review of epidemiologic studies includes a Swedish study of nearly 11,000 workers that showed respirable crystalline silica exposure among concrete workers, miners, casters, masons, and ceramic and glass manufacturers led to an increased risk of sarcoidosis, described by the National Institutes of Health as “an inflammatory disease characterized by the development and growth of tiny lumps of cells called granulomas,” which, if they clump together in an organ, “can lead to permanent scarring or thickening of the organ tissue.”

A nearly twofold disease risk increase was discovered in a study of almost 298,000 Swedish construction workers with medium to high silica exposure. Among Swedish iron foundry workers with high exposure to silica, researchers observed a higher risk for both sarcoidosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

A study of New York City firefighters showed that cases of a sarcoid-like pulmonary disease occurred at a rate of 12.9 cases per 100,000 workers from 1985 to 1998. In the 12 months after the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, that rate rose to 86 cases per 100,000 workers.

Although the two researchers note that not all sarcoidosis cases have an identified cause, recognizing occupational causes is important. When the cause of the disease is work-related, the duo says its recognition is critical “to enable effective treatment through the removal of the affected worker from exposure and to inform intervention aimed at primary prevention.”

The researchers also note that because of a more firm link to on-the-job exposures, the practice of assigning sarcoidosis cases as idiopathic by default should be discontinued.

The study was published online June 5 in the journal CHEST.


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.

Mental illness an ‘unrecognized crisis’ among miners with black lung, study shows

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Charlottesville, VA — Coal miners with black lung disease commonly face various mental health issues, including thoughts of suicide, results of a recent study conducted by researchers from the University of Virginia show.

The researchers examined data from more than 2,800 coal miners who were evaluated for anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder through a voluntary survey at Stone Mountain Health Services, a black lung clinic in Jonesville, VA. The average age of the participants – an overwhelming majority of whom were white males – was 66.

More than 1 out of 3 participants reported symptoms consistent with a major depressive disorder (37.4%) or had clinically significant anxiety (38.9%). Additionally, 26.2% exhibited symptoms of PTSD and 11.4% had considered suicide in the past year. The percentage of suicidal thoughts among all men in Virginia is 2.9.

The researchers note that the percentage “of mental illness far exceeded those documented in coal mining populations internationally.” Miners who need supplemental oxygen to assist with breathing showed accelerated rates of suicidal thoughts (15.9%), anxiety (47.7%) and depression (48.5%).

“This study highlights the unrecognized crisis of mental illness in miners that warrants urgent attention, resources and expanded care,” Drew Harris, lead study author and pulmonary medicine expert at UVA Health, said in a press release, adding that the percentage of “mental illness identified in this large population of U.S. coal miners is shocking. Improved screening and treatment of mental illness in this population is an urgent, unmet need that warrants urgent action.”

Also known as coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, black lung is a deadly but preventable condition. Rates of black lung disease have more than doubled over the past 15 years, says NIOSH, which adds that symptoms may include coughing, excessive phlegm, shortness of breath, labored breathing and chest tightness.

The agency provides free, confidential health screenings through its Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program.

The study was published online May 25 in JAMA Network Open.


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.

EPA final rule sets reporting requirements for 50 chemicals

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Washington — The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a final rule that requires anyone who manufactures or imports 50 specified chemicals to report to the agency “certain lists and copies of unpublished health and safety studies” undertaken within the past decade.

This action is being taken, according to EPA, because the Interagency Testing Committee – established under the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 – has added the substances to its Priority Testing List. The chemical substances subject to the rule include 20 chemicals EPA has designated as high-priority substances for risk evaluation under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, as well as 30 organohalogen flame retardants the Consumer Product Safety Commission is evaluating for risks under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act of 1960.

Under the rule, published in the June 29 Federal Register and slated to go into effect July 29, manufacturers and importers must submit:

  • Lists and copies of unpublished health and safety studies on health effects, such as toxicity studies on carcinogenicity, reproductive and developmental effects, genotoxicity, neurotoxicity, immunotoxicity, and endocrine effects
  • All unpublished studies on environmental effects, environmental fate and physical chemical properties if performed as described in 40 CFR 716.50
  • All unpublished studies on occupational (both users and nonusers), general population, consumer and environmental exposure
  • Studies showing any measurable content of the specified chemical in the tested substance, whether single substances or a mixture; the composition and purity of test substances must be reported if included as part of the study

Additionally, the rule is applicable to anyone who intends to manufacture or import the specified chemicals within 90 days of the EPA notice.

The 20 high-priority chemicals are separate from the first 10 chemicals being evaluated for potential health and environmental risks under the Lautenberg Act. The former group of chemicals includes:

  • Seven chlorinated solvents
  • Six phthalates, or hormone-disrupting substances, linked to several health issues
  • Four flame retardants
  • Formaldehyde
  • One fragrance additive
  • One polymer precursor

Requests to withdraw chemical substances from the final rule are due July 13. The requested information is due Sept. 27.


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.

Governor Ducey Rescinds 25 Pandemic-Related Executive Orders

First published by Arizona Trucking Association

PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today is rescinding 25 Executive Orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic following action by the Arizona Legislature to codify into law many of the policies enacted by the Executive Orders to protect against excessive mandates, including mask usage in schools and prohibiting vaccine passports.

“Throughout the pandemic, we took action to protect Arizonans and their individual freedoms, like banning vaccine passports and protecting access to state universities,” said Governor Ducey. “Working with our Legislature, we’ve enacted these reforms into law. I want to thank Speaker Bowers, President Fann and all our legislators for their partnership in putting good policy into place on a permanent basis.”

Effective July 1, 2021, the following Executive Orders related to the public health emergency will be rescinded:

  • Executive Order 2020-17 deferred requirements to renew state agency and board licenses that had an expiration date between March 1, 2020 and September 1, 2020 by six months from the expiration date, unless those requirements could be completed online. The timeframe for the deferrals lapsed on March 1, 2021.
  • Executive Order 2020-28 was enacted to address critical demand for nursing home and long-term care facility staff, allowing caregiver trainees to utilize on-the-job training to meet a certification program. This policy was codified through legislation in 2020.
  • Executive Order 2020-58 ensured cost-sharing requirements, such as co-pays and co-insurance, for the COVID-19 vaccine are waived. This policy was codified by congress through the CARES Act.
  • Executive Order 2021-04 required schools to return to in-person, teacher-led instruction by March 15, 2020. In-person, teacher led instruction will continue to be required beyond the March 15, 2020 deadline.

Effective July 9, 2021, the following Executive Orders related to the public health emergency will be rescinded:

  • Executive Orders 2020-08 & 2020-53 extended standard driver licenses that originally expired between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020, in an effort to limit visits to the state Motor Vehicle division. An expiration deferral issued as a result of this order remains valid and in effect.
  • Executive Order 2020-20 allowed pharmacists to dispense emergency refills of maintenance medications for up to 180 days, minimizing unnecessary trips to the doctor. With legislation expanding availability of telemedicine, obtaining refills is now more accessible.
  • Executive Order 2020-25 allowed struggling Arizona restaurants to repackage and sell grocery items they had on hand, including items not normally packaged and labeled for resale. Arizona restaurants can now fully resume operations.

Effective September 29, 2021, the following Executive Orders related to the public health emergency will be rescinded upon enactment of legislation to codify the policies:

  • Executive Order 2020-12 was a proactive and administrative measure to ensure consistent mitigation guidance across the state, and prohibited any county, city or town to issue an order, rule or regulation that restricts or prohibits any essential service.
  • Executive Order 2021-05 lifted occupancy limits that were implemented due to COVID-19.
  • Executive Order 2021-06 transitioned COVID-19 mitigation requirements for businesses to recommendations.
  • Executive Order 2021-09 banned “vaccine passports” and prevented state and local governments from requiring Arizonans to provide their COVID-19 vaccination status to receive service or enter an area.
  • Executive Order 2021-10 rescinded orders related to K-12 health guidance.
  • Executive Order 2021-15 ensured students of public higher education institutions cannot be mandated to take the COVID-19 vaccine or submit COVID-19 vaccination documents, and prohibited mandatory testing and mask usage for students.

The following will be repealed on a date determined by the Arizona Department of Health Services:

  • Executive Orders 2020-13, 2020-23, 2020-30, 2020-37, 2020-48, 2020-54,  2020-56, 2020-57, 2021-01, 2021-07, 2021-14, identified as Enhanced Surveillance Advisory Orders. The State Legislature provided authority to the Arizona Department of Health Services to continue requiring hospitals, testing laboratories and other health facilities to provide detailed information and data related to COVID-19.

The Governor’s emergency declaration issued on March 11, 2020 remains in place.

View the Governor’s action to rescind the Executive Orders HERE.


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.

Vapors from isopropyl alcohol can irritate, ignite: hazard alert

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Tumwater, WA — Vapors from isopropyl alcohol solutions and disinfecting wipes can irritate workers’ eyes, nose and throat; cause dizziness and headaches; and build up in the air and easily ignite, warns a new hazard alert from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries.

Employers with workers who use solutions or wipes with IPA, also known as rubbing alcohol, to clean and disinfect surfaces must ensure the facility has proper ventilation.

According to the alert, two recent incidents involving exposure to potentially hazardous levels of IPA in the air occurred at separate workplaces in the state. One involved pre-saturated wipes (70% IPA), while the other involved over-the-counter rubbing alcohol (70% IPA) and pre-saturated wipes (55% IPA). In both cases, ventilation was poor and several workers were exposed to IPA levels in the air that were higher than the 15-minute short-term exposure limit.

Occasional, brief use of IPA products usually isn’t a concern, Washington L&I says, but prolonged use and exposure – especially in enclosed areas – can create risks for workers. Employers can reduce the risk by:

  • Establishing a written hazard communication program that addresses chemical exposures.
  • Measuring personal exposures to ensure they’re below regulated limits.
  • Training workers to identify hazards associated with IPA use.
  • Providing personal protective equipment such as goggles, face shields, appropriate respirators and emergency eyewash stations.
  • Posting warning signs around equipment and/or entrances where overexposures could occur.

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.

NSC to drivers: Be safe over July Fourth weekend

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

Be safe over 4th of July Weekend

Itasca, IL — The National Safety Council is urging roadway users to be extra cautious during the July Fourth weekend – one of the most dangerous driving periods of the year.

“According to our estimates, 400-580 people may die on U.S. roads during the holiday weekend,” Mark Chung, NSC vice president, roadway practice, said. “The National Safety Council calls on everyone planning to travel for the holiday to follow our safe driving tips to ensure you get to where you want to go as safely as possible. Your life and those you love may depend on it.”

NSC offers six tips for safer driving:
Drive distraction-free. Thousands of people have died in motor vehicle-related crashes involving cellphone use. Put your phones away and #JustDrive.
Slow down. Speeding is a factor in more than a quarter of all traffic fatalities. Don’t drive faster than the posted speed limit, and pay attention to people walking and biking.
Designate a sober driver. Alcohol is only one cause of impaired driving. Drugs, including opioids, cannabis and some over-the-counter medicines, can impair drivers by causing drowsiness, altering visual functions, and affecting mental judgement and motor skills. Arrange alternative transportation if you plan to drink or do drugs.
Buckle up. Seat belts save lives. If kids will be in the car, make sure you have the appropriate car seats installed correctly.
Look before you lock. Last year, 25 children died in hot cars. With temperatures rising across the country, make it a priority to ensure you don’t leave the car without your child passengers.
Take an alternate path. For shorter trips, consider leaving the car at home and finding a safe biking or walking route to get where you’re headed.

For more tips, visit nsc.org/saferoads.


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.

Drive safely in the rain

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Rain can reduce or impair your view of the road, the Nevada Department of Transportation points out. Combined with reduced tire traction on wet roadways, “It’s easy to see that driving in the rain needs to be treated with extra caution.”

Only drive in heavy rain when necessary, Nevada DOT advises, and always leave extra time to safely reach your destination. In addition, be sure to dry the soles of your shoes after getting into your vehicle when it’s raining, because they can slide from the pedals while you’re driving.

Other recommendations include:

  • Turn on your headlights to see and be seen.
  • Be aware of and avoid flooded areas – never attempt to cross running or flooded water.
  • Reduce your speed. Speed limits are based on normal road and weather conditions, not rainy conditions.
  • Defrost windows before and while driving, if necessary.
  • Use your wipers. Many states require their use in rain or snow.
  • Keep a safe distance from other vehicles, leaving more space on wet roads.
  • Turn off your cruise control to reduce the risk of hydroplaning.
  • Brake earlier and with less force than you would in normal driving conditions. Also, slow down when turning.

Finally, if you have difficulty seeing the roadway and/or other vehicles when it’s raining, pull off the road to a safe location until conditions improve.


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.

With farmers and ranchers under stress, safety group develops mental health network

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Peosta, IA — In response to a variety of stressors that continue to affect farmers and ranchers during the COVID-19 pandemic, the nonprofit AgriSafe Network has developed a mental health initiative intended to distribute resources and training materials aimed at mitigating stress.

“Farmers and ranchers deal with a lot of uncertainty in a good year,” AgriSafe says. “Add to that current low commodity prices, trade wars, extreme weather and now a pandemic. Coping with the stress of everything happening around us is not easy.”

The Center for the Promotion of Health in the New England Workplace identifies multiple potential signs of work-related stress, including:

  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Workplace incidents
  • Workplace violence
  • Anxiety or irritability
  • Alcohol or drug use

“Good health, including mental health, is a key factor that contributes to one’s ability to keep farming,” AgriSafe says.


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.