Things you should know

Commercial driver safety rules delayed

Several anticipated commercial carrier regulations have been delayed but are still scheduled for publication in 2015, according to the Department of Transportation (DOT). These include:

  • Proposed rule requiring the use of speed limiters on heavy trucks moved to June 8, 2015.
  • A rule allowing FMCSA to use ratings from the agency’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program, along with data from investigations and inspections, to produce a safety fitness score for carriers is now projected for July 1, 2015.
  • A final rule mandating the use of electronic logging devices by all drivers required to keep duty-status records is now projected for Nov. 9, 2015. The rule will take effect two years after its publication date in the Federal Register.
  • The final rule instituting a database of drivers who have failed or refused to take a drug or alcohol test will be published Dec. 14, 2015. Carriers will be required to upload their results and query the database when making new hires. The rule would go into effect 18 months after its publication in the Federal Register.

Guide aims to help prevent silica exposure during asphalt operations

A new NIOSH document outlines best practices for minimizing the risk of crystalline silica exposure during asphalt pavement milling.

EPA assesses paint-stripping chemical; says pregnant workers may be at risk

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that high exposure to a chemical used to remove paint and coatings can present risks to pregnant women and women of childbearing age. The EPA evaluated health risks to workers, consumers and residents of homes and offices where N-Methylpyrrolidone (also known as NMP) is used in paint and coating removal products, and the agency released its final risk assessment.

Dry-cleaning workers need to wear PPE, NIOSH says

Workers at some dry-cleaning businesses do not wear proper personal protective equipment and, as a result, are exposed to cleaning solvents, according to a NIOSH report.

NIOSH offered the following guidance for workers:

  • Wear eye protection and chemical-resistant gloves while pre-treating fabrics and handling waste.
  • Wash hands and exposed skin after any contact with chemicals.
  • Wash hands after removing gloves.

Videos aim to prevent MSDs among dental hygienists

A new series of informational videos is intended to help prevent musculoskeletal disorders among dental hygienists.

The California Department of Public Health’s Occupational Health Branch developed the videos in collaboration with the Ergonomics Program at the University of California, Berkeley, and the California Dental Hygienists’ Association.

Workers may be afraid to discuss job-related asthma

A study published in the Feb. 3 Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology concludes that people may keep information about work-related asthma from their doctors out of concern for the impact it may have on their job and income. For more information, read the article from Health Day News for Healthier Living.

Most fast-food workers injured, burned on the job: report

A survey commissioned by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, a labor organization representing fast-food workers found that 87% have suffered an injury on the job during the past year. The release of the report Survey on Fast Food Worker Safety coincided with complaints against nine company-owned McDonald’s and 19 that are franchised filed with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Longer work hours linked to more risky alcohol use

People who worked 49 or more hours per week were 12 percent to 13 percent more likely to begin risky alcohol use, defined as more than 14 drinks a week for women and more than 21 drinks a week for men, according to the study, published last month in the BMJ, formerly known as the British Medical Journal. The associations between longer hours and heavier drinking were the same regardless of the subjects’ sex, age, country of origin, or socioeconomic status.

California strengthens heat illness prevention standard

The Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board (OSHSB) has proposed that the amendments to the current heat illness regulation prevention standard take effect May 1, in time for the upcoming growing season. The new regulations will not go into effect until the Office of Administrative Law approves them.

The changes include specific requirements for water, which must be fresh, “suitably cool” and as close as possible to workers, and shade, which has to be made available to workers when the thermostat hits 80, as opposed to the previous temperature standard of 85. If approved, employers will have to quickly train their workers. Summary of the amendment.

NIOSH study examines workplace hearing loss trends over 30 years

Researchers examined results from hearing tests of nearly 2 million noise-exposed workers from 1981 to 2010 and found that the overall prevalence of hearing loss in all industries remained consistent at 20 percent. However, the number of new cases of hearing loss decreased, leading researchers to believe some progress has occurred in preventing occupational hearing loss.

Despite this progress, some industries still present a high risk. Construction had the highest incidence of hearing loss during most of the time periods in the study. Additionally, mining, health care and social assistance were the only industries that did not experience a reduction in the risk of hearing loss during the last five years of the study period.  More information.

  For Cutting-Edge Strategies on slashing Workers’ Compensation Costs visit www.PremiumReductionCenter.com

David Leng, CPCU, CIC, CBWA, CWCA, CRM

Author | Speaker | Certified Risk Manager | Certified Work Comp Advisor

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