FMCSA and PHMSA Issue Safety Advisory for Nurse Tanks

Safety Advisory:
Possible Catastrophic Failure of Nurse Tanks and
Recommendation for Periodic Testing

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issue this safety advisory to provide notice of the possibility of catastrophic failure of certain hazardous materials packages commonly known as “nurse tanks.” See Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR) §173.315(m).

Background
This notice focuses on nurse tanks manufactured from January 1, 2007, through December 31, 2011, by American Welding and Tank (AWT) at its Fremont, Ohio plant. Nurse tanks manufactured by AWT from 2009 to 2010 were the subject of a prior FMCSA investigation and enforcement action in response to improper manufacturing procedures.

On August 23, 2023, a 2009 AWT nurse tank containing anhydrous ammonia experienced a catastrophic failure in a farm co-op lot, resulting in the release of all product. The failure caused the tank shell to “rocket” over 300 feet from its original location. While no injuries were reported, this event is an indicator of potential continuing problems with AWT nurse tanks that have now been in service for over a decade.

As a result of this incident, the owner of the nurse tank involved contracted with a third-party testing company to examine their AWT nurse tanks that were manufactured between 2008 and 2012. Radiographic testing showed that 7 of 8 the nurse tanks tested had extreme stress corrosion cracking, porosity, and inclusions/voids in the welds where the heads and shells of the nurse tanks were joined. Only the 2012 tank passed. The nurse tank owner submitted these results to engineering experts who were involved in previous research funded by FMCSA into similar issues with this series of AWT nurse tanks.1 Based on the test results and the review by the experts, the owner voluntarily placed the nurse tanks out-of-service.  The parent company of the farm co-op subsequently conducted similar radiographic testing on 142 AWT nurse tanks manufactured between 2007 and 2012, and 100 failed the test.  All 2012 tanks passed.

Recommendation
The current Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR Parts 171-180) do not require periodic inspection and testing of nurse tanks that have attached and legible American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) identification plates and that meet the other requirements in 49 CFR §173.315(m)(1). Requirements for periodic inspection and testing of nurse tanks apply only when the ASME plate is missing or illegible. See 49 CFR §173.315(m)(2).

The FMCSA and PHMSA nevertheless strongly recommend that owners of AWT nurse tanks manufactured between January 1, 2007, and December 31, 2011 that are exempted from periodic inspection and testing requirements as described above, conduct voluntary periodic visual inspection in accordance with 49 CFR §173.315(m)(2)(i); thickness testing in accordance with 49 CFR §173.315(m)(2)(ii), and pressure testing in accordance with 49 CFR §173.315(m)(2)(iii). Note these dates reflect the years of manufacture that failed testing.

For owners of affected AWT nurse tanks unable to conduct voluntary pressure testing, FMCSA and PHMSA recommend that either radiographic or ultrasonic testing be conducted. While the period of voluntary inspection and testing is at the discretion of the nurse tank owner, FMCSA and PHMSA recommend conducting the inspection and testing at least once every five years consistent with 49 CFR §173.315(m)(2)(iv).

Additional Information
FMCSA and PHMSA are committed to the safety of the farming community and the public. The agencies will be engaged with stakeholders through a variety of outreach activities intended to emphasize the importance of this recommendation and its implications for the owners of these nurse tanks.

For more information, or if you have a question concerning this Safety Advisory, please contact Paul Bomgardner, Chief, FMCSA Hazardous Materials Division, at (202) 493-0027, or by email at paul.bomgardner@dot.gov.


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.

Original article published by FMCSA

Injury Characteristics and Insights: New workers’ comp dashboard

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Photo: NCCI

Boca Raton, FL — The National Council on Compensation Insurance has launched a new interactive resource that combines a decade’s worth of data on workers’ compensation claims involving lost-time injuries and insights.

The Injury Characteristics and Insights dashboard provides an overview of the average cost of lost-time claims by cause of injury, nature of injury and body part. It also features key insights on the most common and most costly injuries as well as injury trends.

“Stakeholders can use this dashboard to benchmark against their own book of business to identify opportunities for improving workplace safety, preventing injuries and possibly influencing the outcomes,” NCCI says.

video provides more information on the dashboard.


McCraren Compliance offers a full range of safety and health training and consulting services. Plus we can help you incorporate well-being into your traditional systems in order to support the Total Worker Health of your workforce.

Call 888-758-4757, email info@mccrarencompliance.com or visit our website www.mccrarencompliance.com

Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Roadside assistance is a dangerous job, data shows

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Photo: Missouri Department of Transportation

Washington — Roadside assistance providers are struck and killed by passing vehicles more often than national crash data suggests, according to the results of a recent study.

Researchers from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety used data from the Emergency Responder Safety Institute and the National Tow List on struck-by vehicle deaths involving tow truck drivers, law enforcement officers, emergency medical personnel and firefighters. That data was then matched to data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System – a database of all fatal crashes each year in the United States.

The researchers identified 123 roadside assistance providers who were fatally struck by vehicles between 2015 and 2021.

“This represented nearly four times as many as were identified using national crash data alone and slightly more than reported in a federal database of occupational fatalities,” the foundation says.

Other key findings:

  • 89% of the deaths happened at locations where the speed limit was 55 mph or higher.
  • 63% occurred during darkness, and nearly two-thirds of those deaths happened in locations without lighting.
  • 63% involved crashes in which the striking vehicle left the road before striking the roadside assistance provider, the provider’s vehicle or the disabled vehicle.

report detailing the study findings includes several recommendations, including increasing public awareness of “move over” laws, which are on the books in all 50 states.


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.

Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Work safely on scissor lifts

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Photo: Baloncici/iStockphoto

Scissor lifts – named for the way the lifting mechanism’s crossed beams raise and lower the work platform – are often used by manufacturing, warehouse and construction workers.

To safely operate a scissor lift, OSHA says two main elements must be addressed before work begins: proper positioning and stabilization.

Here’s what workers and employers can do:

Positioning

  • Implement traffic control measures around the lift to prevent other workers or equipment from approaching.
  • Use ground guides when operating or moving the lift.
  • Place the lift at least 10 feet away from power lines and other sources of electricity, as well as away from overhead hazards such as tree branches.

Stabilization

  • Don’t move the lift while it’s in the upright position.
  • Work in areas that have a level surface and don’t have hazards (holes or bumps) that can cause instability.
  • Use the lift outside only if weather conditions are good.
  • Don’t bypass safety features designed to stop the lift from collapsing.
  • Never allow the weight on the work platform to exceed the manufacturer’s load rating.
  • Don’t use equipment (such as a forklift) other than the scissor lift mechanism to raise the work platform.

And, as always, “Only trained workers should be allowed to use scissor lifts,” OSHA says, “and employers should make sure that those workers show that they can use a scissor lift properly.”

Employers should train workers to:

  • Check that a guardrail system is in place before working on the lift.
  • Stand only on the work platform – never stand on the guardrails.
  • Position work tasks within easy reach of the lift to avoid leaning away from it.

McCraren Compliance offers a full range of safety and health training and consulting services. Plus we can help you incorporate well-being into your traditional systems in order to support the Total Worker Health of your workforce.

Call 888-758-4757, email info@mccrarencompliance.com or visit our website www.mccrarencompliance.com

Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Tower workers: Are you using safety sleeves correctly?

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Photo: NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association

Dayton, OH — Communications tower workers using cable safety sleeves for fall protection must make sure the cable is secured and properly tensioned before starting work.

The reminder is part of a new video from NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association. The video highlights the continued collaboration between NATE’s Safety Equipment Manufacturers Committee and the University of Dayton’s Structures and Materials Assessment, Research, and Test (SMART) Laboratory. Together, the groups test equipment – under real-world conditions – that meets the standards of the American National Standards Institute.

The team performed more than 150 test drops. Its biggest takeaway?

“If you do not have tension on the wire rope, some of the sleeves will not function at all and may fall,” Joey Deuer, president and founder of Deuer Development, says in the video.

Other recommendations:

  • Only use the sleeve according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Ensure the user’s harness or body doesn’t contact the sleeve while climbing.
  • Don’t park unsecured sleeves on a cable while not in use; they may fall if the cable starts shaking.
  • Undamaged sleeves can be reused for rescue retrieval.


McCraren Compliance offers a full range of safety and health training and consulting services. Plus we can help you incorporate well-being into your traditional systems in order to support the Total Worker Health of your workforce.

Call 888-758-4757, email info@mccrarencompliance.com or visit our website www.mccrarencompliance.com

Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

MSHA announces final rule to protect miners from surface mobile equipment-related accidents, injuries, fatalities

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a final rule from its Mine Safety and Health Administration to help protect miners from accidents, injuries and fatalities related to surface mobile equipment. 

The rule requires mine operators to have written safety programs for surface mobile equipment — excluding belt conveyors — at surface mines and underground mines’ surface areas. The programs must include input from miners and their representatives and identify hazards and risks.

In recent years, powered haulage equipment and machinery have been the leading causes of serious and fatal mine accidents. The final rule aligns with MSHA’s overall effort to improve safety in equipment use. So far in 2023, 40 mining industry workers have suffered fatal injuries, including 16 classified as machinery and 10 classified as powered haulage fatalities.

“Given the number of serious and fatal machinery and powered haulage accidents that have occurred in recent years, the Mine Safety and Health Administration has worked hard to issue this final rule to enhance safety protections for miners working with and around surface mobile equipment,” said Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health Chris Williamson. “As MSHA works with the entire mining community to implement the new rule, we strongly encourage everyone to prioritize training and to identify and eliminate machinery and powered haulage hazards that can put miners’ lives and livelihoods at risk.”

Earlier this year, Assistant Secretary Williamson sent an open letter to the mining community, noting MSHA will continue to use all its tools to combat the unacceptable upward trend in fatalities. The letter also announced an inaugural “Stand Down to Save Lives” event to encourage the nation’s mining community to take steps to prevent injuries and illnesses.

Other MSHA initiatives to combat the number of mining accidents, injuries, and fatalities in machinery, powered haulage equipment and other areas include safety and health alerts, the “Take Time, Save Lives” campaignPowered Haulage Equipment Guidance, and an Enhanced Enforcement Program.

District managers will discuss compliance assistance for the mining industry at stakeholder meetings beginning in January 2024.


McCraren Compliance offers a full range of safety and health training and consulting services. Plus we can help you incorporate well-being into your traditional systems in order to support the Total Worker Health of your workforce.

Call 888-758-4757, email info@mccrarencompliance.com or visit our website www.mccrarencompliance.com

Original article published by MSHA

OSHA, Federal Communications Commission, Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association renew partnership to protect communications tower erection workers

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration renewed a national strategic partnership with the Federal Communications Commission and NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association to eliminate fatalities and reduce injuries and illnesses among workers in the communications tower erection industry.

The five-year renewal includes carriers, general contractors and engineering firms in the communications tower erection industry. The partnership will address hazards, such as falls from height, high energy electrical contact, falling objects, tower collapses and inclement weather that are frequently encountered during telecommunications, tower erection and maintenance operations.

The partners intend to develop best practices to address the root causes of injuries and fatalities during maintenance, repair and construction of wireless communication and broadcast systems under normal and emergency situations. The partners will also establish job-specific safety and health training for supervisors and foreperson, telecommunications tower technicians, project managers and project supervisors.

“We recognize the hazards that tower employees face especially as the increasing demand for wireless communication technology intensifies the need to repair and construct telecommunication towers,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Jim Frederick. “Our renewed partnership confirms our continued commitment to shifting practices and ensuring that controls are in place so that workers finish their shift safely throughout this industry.”

“The timing of this renewal agreement is critical as the association’s member companies and their technician workforce will be on the front lines enabling connectivity as part of the generational investment of the Broadband, Equity, Access and Deployment program funding that will be flowing to the states in 2024 and beyond,” said NATE Chairman Victor Drouin. “The NATE-OSHA-FCC national strategic partnership agreement will play a vital role ensuring that this next-generation deployment cycle will be performed in a safe and quality manner by the industry’s most precious resource, our workers.”

Since 2020, the partnership has created icons representing hazards that can fatally injure workers and has seen an increase in partner company participants from 94 in 2022 to 157 in 2023.

NATE is a non-profit trade association dedicated to providing a unified voice for companies in the tower and communications infrastructure construction, service and maintenance industries. The Federal Communications Commission regulates America’s interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable.


McCraren Compliance offers a full range of safety and health training and consulting services. Plus we can help you incorporate well-being into your traditional systems in order to support the Total Worker Health of your workforce.

Call 888-758-4757, email info@mccrarencompliance.com or visit our website www.mccrarencompliance.com

Original article published by OSHA

Deliver safety, not injuries

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Photo: Fly View Productions/iStockphoto

With the holiday season upon us, delivery drivers are likely to see an increase in work. Now is a good time to review safety measures these workers can take to avoid on-the-job injuries.

The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries Division of Occupational Safety and Health offers these tips:

  • Park your vehicle on level ground when possible.
  • Don’t jump or climb in or out of your vehicle while holding packages.
  • Make sure your shoes have good traction.
  • Use a headlamp or flashlight if you’re delivering packages in the dark.
  • Be aware of your surroundings when walking to and from the delivery location.
  • Make two trips or use a hand truck if items are heavy or you have to carry multiple boxes.
  • Don’t carry packages in a way that blocks your view.

McCraren Compliance offers a full range of safety and health training and consulting services. Plus we can help you incorporate well-being into your traditional systems in order to support the Total Worker Health of your workforce.

Call 888-758-4757, email info@mccrarencompliance.com or visit our website www.mccrarencompliance.com

Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Coupling devices for excavator buckets: NIOSH publishes fact sheet

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Photo: Dzmitry Kaprusynka/iStockphoto

Washington — A new fact sheet from NIOSH is aimed at workers who use quick coupling devices to change excavator buckets and other attachments.

Quick couplers are common in construction work. However, buckets or attachments may unintentionally fall from excavators because of improper securement of the bucket or attachment, mechanical or hydraulic failure in the coupler, or unsafe opening of the coupler by the operator, NIOSH says.

Among the agency’s tips:

  • Use quick couplers manufactured with design features and processes to prevent the unintentional release of buckets or attachments, such as models with alerting systems to signal whether the connection was successful.
  • Follow manufacturer’s guidelines for equipment when planning job tasks. For example, many manufacturers state that ground workers shouldn’t be within the swing radius/swing zone of an excavator arm.
  • Ensure machine operators always conduct visual inspections on the excavator and quick coupler before starting work. Remove from service any excavator with functional issues and tag it with a “Do not operate” sign.
  • Establish communication methods between the excavator operator and ground workers before starting work.
  • Make sure operators lower the excavator arm to the ground before exiting the cab.

NIOSH encourages employers, supervisors and equipment suppliers to “share and apply these recommended practices at the worksite.”


McCraren Compliance offers a full range of safety and health training and consulting services. Plus we can help you incorporate well-being into your traditional systems in order to support the Total Worker Health of your workforce.

Call 888-758-4757, email info@mccrarencompliance.com or visit our website www.mccrarencompliance.com

Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

CPWR publishes tip sheets on preventing roofer falls

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Photo: CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training

Silver Spring, MD — Two new resources from CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training are intended to help prevent falls among roofing workers.

In “Roofing Safety for Construction Workers,” available in English and Spanish, CPWR cites Bureau of Labor Statistics data showing that 1 out of 10 fatal slips, trips and falls involve roofers – 3 out of 5 of whom are Hispanic.

The organization calls on employers to:

  • Eliminate or minimize fall hazards during job planning, when possible.
  • Provide workers with proper tools and safety equipment to safely complete tasks.
  • Train workers on inspection and use of safety equipment in a language they understand.
  • Enforce safety regulations.
  • Regularly review work practices that help prevent falls.

An additional CPWR fact sheet – Roof Safety: Weather to Work? – provides guidance on working safely in inclement weather. Tips include:

  • Ensure workers are trained on fall protection and wearing proper personal protective equipment.
  • Monitor weather conditions before work and throughout the day.
  • Inspect the roof for icy, wet or slippery conditions before work starts.
  • Have a plan to provide workers with cover from lightning.
  • Find a stable, nonslippery surface to set up and secure a ladder.

A Spanish version of the weather-related resource is in development, CPWR says.


McCraren Compliance offers a full range of safety and health training and consulting services. Plus we can help you incorporate well-being into your traditional systems in order to support the Total Worker Health of your workforce.

Call 888-758-4757, email info@mccrarencompliance.com or visit our website www.mccrarencompliance.com

Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication