Assessing COVID-19 hazards, controls in manufacturing facilities: CDC publishes toolkit

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Photo: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Atlanta — A new toolkit from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is designed to help workplace safety and health professionals and public health officials assess manufacturing facilities’ COVID-19 infection prevention and control measures.

The toolkit includes a checklist to “determine whether control measures in place align with CDC/OSHA guidance.” CDC recommends conducting a checklist assessment when a COVID-19 control plan is developed and each time it’s revised. The assessment should include these steps:
Pre-assessment: Inform all parties of the assessment’s goals. Work as a group to review the checklist to determine if each part applies to your company.
Walkthrough: While conducting the walkthrough of a facility, use the checklist to document what you find. Observe as much of the plant processes as possible. Limit participation to those familiar with plant processes.
Post-assessment: After conducting the assessment, discuss observations, develop action items, determine steps to protect workers, and prioritize actions to take to control and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Other resources are quick reference slides for safety pros and health officials, as well as quick reference guides in the form of one-page flyers for employers and employees. The toolkit also can be used to assess manufacturing facilities’ overall hazard assessment and control plans.

CDC says the guidance will be updated “as needed and as additional information becomes available.”

Operation Safe Driver Week slated for July 12-18

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Photo: Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance

Greenbelt, MD — Law enforcement officers are expected to keep an extra sharp watch for commercial and passenger vehicle drivers engaging in unsafe behaviors July 12-18 during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s annual Operation Safe Driver Week.

Officers will be looking for drivers who are texting, following too closely, not wearing seat belts or maneuvering in otherwise unsafe manners, while placing added emphasis on speeding.

A May 12 CVSA press release cites recent findings from the Governors Highway Safety Association showing that state highway officials nationwide “are seeing a severe spike in speeding” as traffic volume has decreased as a result of quarantines and stay-at-home orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Preliminary estimates from the National Safety Council show that, in March, the rate of motor vehicle deaths in the United States was 14% higher than in March 2019 despite fewer drivers being on the road.

CMV and passenger vehicle drivers in North America received nearly 47,000 citations and around 88,000 warnings during last year’s Operation Safe Driver Week, per data collected from law enforcement personnel. Citations and warnings related to speeding were most common, with CMV drivers receiving 1,454 citations and 2,126 warnings, and passenger vehicle drivers receiving 16,102 citations and 21,001 warnings.

“It’s essential that this enforcement initiative, which focuses on identifying and deterring unsafe driving behaviors such as speeding, go on as scheduled,” CVSA President John Samis said in the release. “As passenger vehicle drivers are limiting their travel to necessary trips and many [CMV] drivers are busy transporting vital goods to stores, it’s more important than ever to monitor our roadways for safe transport.”

COVID-19 pandemic: CVSA postpones annual ‘Roadcheck’

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Photo: WendellandCarolyn/iStockphoto

Greenbelt, MD — In response to industry concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has postponed its 33rd annual International Roadcheck – an enforcement and safety outreach event initially slated for May 5-7.

According to a March 25 press release, CVSA officials will monitor the pandemic and, “when it’s safe and reasonable to do so,” announce new dates for the event, during which inspectors throughout North America will examine braking systems, lights, tires and other commercial truck and bus components. In the meantime, enforcement personnel will continue to perform daily duties.

“As we urgently respond to this time-sensitive crisis, we must remain diligent and committed to ensuring that the commercial motor vehicles and drivers providing essential goods and services to our communities are following motor carrier safety regulations,” CVSA President John Samis said in the release. “Safety doesn’t take a break. It is always our top priority.

“International Roadcheck has run on schedule for the past 32 years, so its postponement was thoroughly and thoughtfully discussed before we made this decision, but it wasn’t a difficult decision to make. This experience is unprecedented in our modern society and we need to do all that we can to help stop the spread of this global pandemic.”

An expanded national emergency declaration issued March 18 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration grants temporary exemption from federal hours-of-service regulations to CMV drivers transporting items intended to assist with pandemic relief efforts.

Last year’s International Roadcheck resulted in more than 67,000 inspections and placed 17.9% of vehicles and 4.2% of drivers inspected out of service.

CVSA states in the release that other public enforcement initiatives set for this summer, including Operation Safe Driver Week (July 12-18) and Brake Safety Week (Aug. 23-29), remain as scheduled.

ADOT partners with Hopi Tribe on commercial vehicle safety inspections

Officers using mobile ports to check semis driving through reservation
PHOENIX – To enhance safety on state highways, the Arizona Department of Transportation’s Enforcement and Compliance Division partnered with the Hopi Tribe to set up a mobile commercial vehicle inspection site on the reservation.

Concerned that overweight semi trailers and those in violation of safety regulations may be using state roads that pass through the Hopi reservation to evade commercial ports of entry, the tribal government reached out to ADOT for assistance. ADOT sent officers to set up a mobile inspection site along State Route 264 near the junction with State Route 87, while officers patrolled other parts of SR 264, SR 87 and Indian Route 2 to ensure that commercial vehicles weren’t evading the mobile inspection site. Continue reading»

Annual CMV brake inspection event set for Sept. 15-21

Photo: Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance

Greenbelt, MD — Commercial motor vehicle inspectors throughout North America will perform brake system examinations Sept. 15-21 during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s annual Brake Safety Week.

This year’s outreach and enforcement campaign, created in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, will place special emphasis on brake hoses and tubing. Inspectors also will be looking for other critical non-brake-related violations.

Last year’s event resulted in 35,080 inspections and identified 4,955 vehicles (14.1%) with out-of-service conditions. FMCSA data shows that brake-related violations comprised six of the 20 most frequently cited violations in 2017.

“We all know how important a properly functioning brake system is to vehicle operation,” CVSA President Jay Thompson said in a June 18 press release. “All components of the brake system must always be in proper operating condition. Brake systems and their parts and components must be routinely checked and carefully and consistently maintained to ensure the health and safety of the overall vehicle.”

The event is part of CVSA’s Operation Airbrake campaign, which began in 1998.