FMCSA again extends regulatory relief for truckers carrying pandemic-related goods

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Washington — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is extending its temporary hours-of-service exemptions and other regulatory relief for commercial truck drivers transporting items intended to assist with COVID-19 pandemic relief efforts.

Announced Aug. 31, the extension of Emergency Declaration 2020-002, initially issued March 13, 2020, and expanded and modified multiple times, is scheduled to remain in effect through Nov. 30.

Regulatory relief is extended to drivers who are transporting:

  • COVID-19 vaccines; constituent products; and medical supplies and equipment, including ancillary supplies/kits for the administration of vaccines
  • Medical supplies and equipment for the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19
  • Supplies and equipment to help curb the spread of COVID-19, including masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants
  • Food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of stores or distribution centers
  • Gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and ethyl alcohol
  • Supplies to assist individuals impacted by the “consequences” of the pandemic (e.g., building materials for individuals displaced or otherwise impacted as a result of the emergency)
  • Livestock and livestock feed

Drivers making routine commercial deliveries, “including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration,” are not covered under the exemption.

“To be eligible for the exemption, the transportation must be both (i) of qualifying commodities and (ii) incident to the immediate restoration of those essential supplies,” FMCSA says.

The regulatory relief doesn’t extend to safety regulations concerning speed limits, fatigue, texting/phone use while driving, crash documentation and out-of-service rules, among others.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

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Biden says OSHA will issue an emergency temporary standard on COVID-19 vaccination, testing

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Washington — OSHA is developing an emergency rule that will require employers with at least 100 workers to “ensure their workforces are fully vaccinated or show a negative test at least once a week,” President Joe Biden announced Sept. 9.

The announcement was made on the same day the president signed Executive Orders requiring federal employees and most federal contractors to be vaccinated. Additionally, nursing home, hospital, home health care facility and other medical facility workers – who treat Medicare or Medicaid patients – are now required to be vaccinated.

“Some of the biggest companies are already requiring [vaccines],” Biden said. “The bottom line: We’re going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated co-workers. We’re going to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by increasing the share of the workforce that is vaccinated in businesses all across America.”

The emergency rule will require covered employers to give workers paid time off to get a COVID-19 vaccine, Biden said.

A recent survey conducted by the National Safety Council found that employer-required vaccinations resulted in a 35% increase in the number workers who got a shot(s), according a Sept. 10 press release from the nonprofit organization.

“With the nation’s death toll nearing 650,000 lives lost, we must double down on evidence-based solutions – COVID-19 vaccinations – to keep people safe,” NSC President and CEO Lorraine M. Martin said. “Employers are widely trusted by their workers and can play a pivotal role in increasing vaccination rates of people throughout the country to save lives, from the workplace to anyplace.”

In a statement issued Sept. 9, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), ranking member of the House Education and Labor Committee, said the president had “no business issuing a burdensome vaccine regulation that will further harm overworked and struggling business owners.”

The National Association of Manufacturers, which represents more than 14,000 U.S. businesses, said it looks forward to working with the administration “to ensure any vaccine requirements are structured in a way that does not negatively impact the operations of manufacturers that have been leading through the pandemic to keep Americans safe.”

Meanwhile, Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, co-executive director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, an advocacy group, called the mandate a “missed opportunity” to expand COVID-19 prevention plans to all workplaces. An OSHA emergency temporary standard, which went into effect in June, applies only to health care settings. In addition, National COSH Co-Executive Director Jessica Martinez notes that physical distancing, improved ventilation, shift rotation and personal protective equipment are “important components of an overall plan to reduce risk and stop the virus,” but are missing from Biden’s plan.

Employers who have questions about implementing a vaccine requirement or providing other safety measures can consult resources from SAFER: Safe Actions for Employee Returns – an NSC initiative aimed at developing industry- and risk-specific resources and recommendations for employers.


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
SAFER_VaccineRequirementSpectrum

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.

OSHA issues updated guidance on COVID-19

First published by OSHA

U.S. Department of Labor issues updated guidance on protecting
unvaccinated and other at-risk workers from the coronavirus

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration today issued updated guidance to help employers protect workers from the coronavirus. The updated guidance reflects developments in science and data, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated COVID-19 guidance issued July 27.

The updated guidance expands information on appropriate measures for protecting workers in higher-risk workplaces with mixed-vaccination status workers, particularly for industries such as manufacturing; meat, seafood and poultry processing; high volume retail and grocery; and agricultural processing, where there is often prolonged close contact with other workers and/or non-workers.

OSHA’s latest guidance:

  • Recommends that fully vaccinated workers in areas of substantial or high community transmission wear masks in order to protect unvaccinated workers;
  • Recommends that fully vaccinated workers who have close contacts with people with coronavirus wear masks for up to 14 days unless they have a negative coronavirus test at least 3-5 days after such contact;
  • Clarifies recommendations to protect unvaccinated workers and other at-risk workers in manufacturing, meat and poultry processing, seafood processing and agricultural processing; and
  • Links to the latest guidance on K-12 schools and CDC statements on public transit.

OSHA continues to emphasize that vaccination is the optimal step to protect workers and encourages employers to engage with workers and their representatives to implement multi-layered approaches to protect unvaccinated or otherwise at-risk workers from the coronavirus.

As part of the agency’s ongoing commitment to review the COVID-19 Healthcare Emergency Temporary Standard every 30-days, OSHA also said that the safeguards set forth by the standard remain more important than ever. After reviewing the latest guidance, science and data, and consulting with the CDC and partners, OSHA has determined the requirements of the healthcare ETS remain necessary to address the grave danger of the coronavirus in healthcare. OSHA will continue to monitor and assess the need for changes in the healthcare ETS each month.

Our priority is the safety and health of workers, and we will continue to enforce the law to ensure workers are protected from the virus while they are on the job, including through OSHA’s National Emphasis Program on COVID.


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 revises its National Emphasis Program, updates Interim Enforcement Response Plan for COVID-19

First published by OSHA

Photo property of OSHA

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has revised its National Emphasis Program (NEP) for COVID-19. The agency launched the NEP on March 12, 2021, to focus on companies that put the largest number of workers at serious risk of contracting the coronavirus, and on employers that engage in retaliation against employees who complain about unsafe or unhealthful conditions or exercise other rights under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

Based on an evaluation of inspection and illness data, the revised NEP (DIR 2021-03 (CPL 03), adjusts the targeted industries to those most at risk for COVID-19 exposure, but still includes healthcare and non-healthcare, such as meat and poultry processing. The revised NEP also removes an appendix that provided a list of Secondary Target Industries for the former COVID-19 NEP. For inspections in healthcare, the revised NEP refers compliance safety and health officers (CSHOs) to the new directive, DIR 2021-02 (CPL 02), Inspection Procedures for the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard, issued on June 28, 2021.

Inspections in non-healthcare establishments will follow procedures outlined in the Updated Interim Enforcement Response Plan published July 7, 2021. The updated interim enforcement response plan (IERP) replaces the memorandum dated March 12, 2021. Updates in the July 2021 IERP include:

  • Enforcing protections for workers in non-healthcare industries who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated;
  • Where respirator supplies and services are readily available, OSHA will stop exercising enforcement discretion for temporary noncompliance with the Respiratory Protection standard based on employers’ claims of supply shortages due to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • OSHA will no longer exercise enforcement discretion for the same requirements in other health standards, where full compliance may have been difficult for some non-healthcare employers due to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Updated instructions and guidance for OSHA area offices and CSHOs for handling COVID-19-related complaints, referrals and severe illness reports;
  • Ensuring workers are protected from retaliation; and
  • References to the revised NEP for COVID-19.

The goals of the IERP are to identify exposures to COVID-19 hazards, ensure appropriate control measures are implemented, and address violations of OSHA standards (other than the ETS) and the General Duty Clause. The updated IERP will remain in effect until further notice and is intended to be time-limited to the current COVID-19 public health crisis.

The ETS became effective June 21, 2021. Healthcare employers must comply with most provisions by July 6, 2021, and with training, ventilation, and barrier provisions by July 21, 2021.

Learn more about the COVID-19 Healthcare ETS.


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.

57% of U.S. adults want masks required for all onsite workers

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Alexandria, VA — About 6 out of 10 U.S. adults believe masks should be a requirement for workers at onsite locations, even if those workers are fully vaccinated, according to the results of a recent Harris Poll survey commissioned by the American Staffing Association.

The Workforce Monitor online survey of 2,066 adults 18 and older was conducted June 10-14. Participants were asked for their opinions on worker behaviors and concerns as COVID-19 cases decrease nationally.

As more employers bring employees back to physical locations, 57% of respondents said onsite workers should be required to wear a mask – even if they’re vaccinated. Nearly two-thirds said workers have a right to know if their colleagues have received the COVID-19 vaccine. Meanwhile, 60% said it’s no one’s business if they’ve received the vaccine.

Broken down by race/ethnicity, Black (70%) and Hispanic/Latino (64%) respondents were most likely to believe masks should be required, while 50% of Whites/Caucasians reported the same.

Regionally, 61% of respondents in the West and Northeast said workers should be required to wear masks. The lowest percentage was in the Midwest (52%). The survey results show that 74% of those in the Northeast said employees should have the right to know if colleagues are vaccinated.

“As brick-and-mortar workplaces reopen, workers are anxious about being around their colleagues once again,” ASA President and CEO Richard Wahlquist said in a June 24 press release. “Employers must clearly communicate what steps they are taking to make their workplaces safe for their employees as they reopen.”


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 compliance directive for enforcing emergency temporary standard to protect healthcare workers from coronavirus

First published by OSHA

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration today issued a compliance directive designed to ensure uniform inspection and enforcement procedures for its Emergency Temporary Standard to protect healthcare workers from occupational exposures to COVID-19.

The new directive provides OSHA compliance safety and health officers with guidance and procedures on how to enforce the standard’s requirements for:

  • Written COVID-19 plan
  • Patient/Non-employee screening and management
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Aerosol-generating procedures
  • Physical distancing
  • Physical barriers
  • Cleaning and disinfecting
  • Ventilation
  • Employee health screening and medical management
  • Vaccination
  • Training
  • Anti-retaliation
  • Requirements at no cost
  • Recordkeeping
  • Reporting to OSHA

The ETS became effective June 21, 2021. Employers must comply with most provisions by July 6, 2021, and with training, ventilation, and barrier provisions by July 21, 2021.

Learn more about the COVID-19 Healthcare ETS.


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.

Study links workplace exposure to ‘disproportionately high’ rate of COVID-19 deaths among Latinos

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Image result for latinos Male  Worker facemask

Columbus, OH — Workplace exposure to COVID-19 is a substantial factor in the “disproportionately high” rate of cases and deaths among Latinos in the United States when compared with whites, results of a recent study by researchers from Ohio State University and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee show.

Reviewing public and restricted data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as “individual-level information on prior health conditions and mortality from case data,” the researchers found that, as of Sept. 30, Latinos made up 41% of all recorded COVID-19 deaths in the country while making up 19% of the population.

Using CDC’s case surveillance data, the researchers found “little evidence” to support higher proportion of preexisting health conditions, unequal health care access/quality and multigenerational households as potential causes.

“Among the reported cases, Hispanics had fewer preexisting health conditions than whites, and there were no significant differences between working-age Hispanics and whites in the percentage of infections that resulted in death,” a report published in OSU’s Ohio State News states. “Hence, the researchers said, the case data is not supportive of preexisting comorbidities and/or lower quality health care being driving factors in the excess Hispanic mortality.”

The “greatest excess in cases” were among Latinos of working age – 30-59 years old.

“There was no evidence before this paper that really demonstrated that the excess cases were precisely in these working age groups,” study co-author Reanne Frank, professor of sociology at OSU, said in the report. “Particularly for frontline and essential workers, among whom Hispanics are overrepresented, COVID-19 is an occupational disease that spreads at work. Hispanics were on the front lines and they bore a disproportionate cost.”

Study co-author D. Phuong (Phoenix) Do, associate professor of public health policy and administration at UWM, noted that the findings are “applicable to any disease that is highly infectious,” adding, “if we know the source of the spread, then we can tackle it head on. We can’t stop the economy – we’ve learned that. There has to be a way to protect the workers and enforce protection.”

The study was published online April 1 in the journal Demographic Research.


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.