US Department of Labor announces proposed rule to require mine operators to improve safe usage of mobile, powered-haulage equipment

First published by MSHA

Photo property of MSHA

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration today announced a proposed rule to require mine operators employing six or more miners to develop a written safety program for mobile and powered haulage equipment (excluding belt conveyors) at surface mines and surface areas of underground mines. This proposed rule is one of several actions MSHA has taken to reduce fatal and nonfatal injuries involving surface mobile equipment used at mines and to improve safety and health.

Under the proposed rule, mine operators would implement a written safety program including actions to identify hazards and risks to reduce accidents, injuries and fatalities related to surface mobile equipment. Mine operators would have the flexibility to devise a safety program for their specific mining conditions and operations. In addition, MSHA would encourage its state grantees to provide training to address hazards and risks involving surface mobile equipment in small mining operations.

Read the proposed rule. Comments must be submitted by Nov. 8, 2021.

Learn more about MSHA and its rulemaking.


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.

Updated Small Business Handbook

First published by  OSHA

Photo: OSHA

OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have collaborated to issue an updated workplace safety and health handbook for small businesses. The Small Business Safety and Health Handbook (link to handbook) highlights the benefits of implementing an effective safety and health program, provides self-inspection checklists for employers to identify workplace hazards, and reviews workplace safety and health resources for small businesses.

The self-inspection checklists are designed to help general industry employers identify workplace hazards and to ensure workplace safety for their employees. Employers can use the checklists in several ways; including printing the documents, filling them out by hand or entering information in the fillable PDF forms.

Please share this resource with small business stakeholders, as appropriate.


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.

Communicating through a facemask

Communicating through a face mask, McCraren Compliance

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

Wearing a facemask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 can present obstacles to communication, “an important and complex transaction that depends on visual and, often, auditory cues,” says Debara L. Tucci, director of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

When facial coverings are worn, facial features are obscured, while speech perception and conveyed emotion are disrupted. Facial coverings also filter speech, making sounds less clear, Tucci said, adding, “When it is harder to understand speech – whether because of cloth face coverings, distance or other factors – research suggests that we have fewer cognitive resources to process information deeply. As a result, communication suffers, and feelings of stress and isolation may increase.”

NIDCD offers the following tips to improve communication when wearing a facial covering:
Be aware. Is the person you’re communicating with having trouble understanding you? Ask and adapt if needed.
Be patient. Facial coverings block visual cues and muffle sounds that help us understand speech, which can make interactions frustrating.
Be mindful. Consider how physical distancing might affect your communication. As distance increases, sound levels decrease and visual cues are more difficult to see.
Be loud and clear. Speak up, but don’t shout. Focus on speaking clearly. Consider wearing a clear facial covering, if possible. If you’re having trouble understanding, ask the person you’re talking with to speak louder. If you lip-read, ask those you interact with regularly to wear a clear facial covering.
Turn down the background volume. Background noise can make conversation especially hard. Move to a quieter spot or turn down the sound, when possible.
Communicate another way. Use a smartphone talk-to-text app or writing tools (e.g., paper/pen, whiteboard) to communicate.
Confirm your statement is clear. Ask if your message has been understood.
Bring a friend or be a friend. If it’s essential that you comprehend important spoken details – during a discussion with a health care provider, for example – consider bringing a friend or family member with you.


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

U.S. Department of Labor Schedules Advisory Committee On Construction Safety and Health Meeting

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor has scheduled a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH) via teleconference and WebEx on Wednesday, July 1, 2020.

The meeting will include an update on key OSHA initiatives from Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt. The ACCSH will consider and make recommendations for updating the Powered Industrial Trucks standards and the Hazard Communication Standard.

In conjunction with the meeting, ACCSH Workgroups will meet by teleconference and WebEx on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.

WHAT:          ACCSH Workgroups Meeting

WHEN:          Tuesday June 30, 2020
12:00 p.m. to 5:30 EDT
                        Teleconference and WebEx
1-888-658-5408, passcode 2597686

WHAT:          ACCSH Advisory Committee Meeting

WHEN:          Wednesday, July 1, 2020
12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. EDT
1-888-324-3487, passcode 9671553

Comments and requests to speak may be submitted electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, the Federal eRulemaking Portal, by mail, or by facsimile. Read the Federal Register notice for submission details, and for call-in and WebEx information. Comments and requests to speak must be submitted by Thursday, June 25, 2020. The meeting is open to the public.

The ACCSH advises the Secretary of Labor and Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health on construction standards and policy matters. It was established under the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act and the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970.

Under the OSH 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.

Lead: Don’t take it home

Lead.jpg

Are you exposed to lead at work? You may be if you make or fix batteries or radiators; make or paint ceramics; melt, cast or grind lead, brass or bronze; tear down or remodel houses, buildings or bridges; or work with scrap metal, the California Department of Public Health says.

Short-term lead exposure can cause headaches, irritability, memory loss, abdominal pain and loss of appetite. Prolonged exposure can cause depression, nausea, high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease and reduced fertility. Read more»

Recognizing on-the-job impairment

When you hear the words “impairment at work,” alcohol or substance abuse likely comes to mind. But according to the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety, impairment encompasses much more. “Issues that may distract a person from focusing on their tasks include those that are related to family or relationship problems, fatigue (mental or physical), traumatic shock, or medical conditions or treatments,” CCOHS states. Read more»

Can You Predict Your Safety Future? OSHA Wants To Follow Your Leading Indicators

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor invites interested parties to attend a discussion on leading indicators for occupational safety and health programs. The meeting will be held on November 7, 2019, in Washington, D.C.

A key component of a safety and health program is to monitor performance and progress using leading indicators that track how well various aspects of the program are performing. The November discussion will focus on the use of leading indicators, how they are chosen, what they track, whether they are effective, if there is commonality across an industry, and any challenges encountered using such indicators.

Those interested in participating in the meeting or attending as an observer must register at Leading Indicators Meeting Registration by October 30, 2019. The meeting will not include formal presentations, but instead will be conducted as a group discussion. Written comments can be submitted to the docket, OSHA-2019-0005, through February 7, 2020.

WHAT:          Public Stakeholder Meeting on Leading Indicators for Safety and Health Programs

WHEN:          Thursday, November 7, 2019, 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT.

WHERE:       U.S. Department of Labor
Frances Perkins Building, Room N-4437
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC  20210