Sunday, March 29, 2015
OSHA Short Takes

Senate Dems drop bill to beef up oil train safety

A group of Senate Democrats led by Maria Cantwell (WA) has introduced a bill aimed at increasing safety of oil trains traveling through the United States, in response to recent catastrophic accidents -- a legislative . . .

Massachusetts law takes effect to protect executive branch workers

Massachusetts has put into effect a quasi-state OSHA plan by implementing a recently passed law that extends safety and health protections to executive branch employees. Up to now Massachusetts did not have a program specifically . . .

OSHA seeks nominations to federal workplace advisory panel

OSHA said Tuesday it will accept nominations until May 15 for members to serve on the Federal Advisory Council on Occupational Safety and Health, which deals with issues of protecting federal workers. FACOSH activities have . . .

CSB criticizes 'gaps' in process safety regs decade after BP blast

Federal chemical safety experts are raising concern about what they characterize as serious gaps in process safety management regulations on the 10th anniversary of the explosion and fire at BP Texas City refinery, which the . . .

OSHA Short Takes
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CSB Chair Moure-Eraso Makes Resignation Official; Replacement Awaits Senate Nod

Chemical Safety Board Chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso resigned Thursday (March 26) at the direction of President Obama, cutting short a rocky, nearly five-year term just shy of its completion and clearing the way for his designated replacement who currently serves as the top lawyer at the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. However, Moure-Eraso will remain a board member until mid-April, an agency official says.

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Obama To Ask CSB Chair Moure-Eraso To Resign, Congressional Sources Say

President Obama will ask Rafael Moure-Eraso, the beleaguered head of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, to resign, Washington sources confirmed Thursday, with less than three months left in the agency chair's term and a week after a bipartisan call in Congress for the agency chair to be ousted in the wake of allegations that he mismanaged the board, shut out differing views from other board members and retaliated against career staff at the agency.

Global Worker Safety, Health Management Standard Tackles Supply Chain Concerns

A worldwide consensus standard well under development by safety experts would set out parameters for voluntary adoption of occupational health and safety (OHS) management systems, in what experts hope is the start of a policy dialogue on protecting workers across global supply chains and heading off safety risks such as those borne out by garment factory disasters in Bangladesh, where U.S. retail brands were found among the rubble.

EPA Environmental Justice Advisors Back Groups' Calls For Stronger Worker Protection Standards

The Environmental Protection Agency's National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) is calling for the agency to strengthen proposed revisions to its worker protection standards (WPS) to better protect farmworkers, especially pesticide handlers, urging stronger requirements and backing advocates' claim that farmworkers face disproportionate chemical risks -- pressure on the Obama administration that comes amid a broad review at OSHA of chemical exposure risk policies.

OSHA Denies Petition For Meatpacking Rule, But Signals Tough Stance On Ergo Enforcement

OSHA has rejected a petition from a large group of worker advocacy organizations for the agency to begin crafting a new rule to address hazards associated with line speeds in meatpacking and poultry plants, but is strongly signaling that it could ramp up enforcement on alleged ergonomic dangers by exercising the OSH Act general duty clause.

Lawmakers Press Colleagues To Back Robust OSHA, NIOSH Funding Levels In Fiscal '16

House and Senate Democrats are circulating letters urging lawmakers to support increased OSHA funding and to shield NIOSH from the Obama administration's long-contemplated elimination of two research and education programs, with the advocacy effort driven by several safety and health professional organizations.

OSHA Scores General-Duty Win As Walmart Capitulates On Trampling Case

OSHA has won a key victory for policy favoring expansive use of the OSH Act general duty clause, with Walmart Stores Inc. on Wednesday (March 18) pulling its longstanding legal challenge of a $7,000 OSHA citation arising from the trampling death of a store employee during a Black Friday sales event in 2008, and the agency lauding the move.

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Chemical Safety Board Documents, Testimony

Several interested parties have generated testimony, comments or other documents related to congressional oversight and inspector general probes of activity at the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB). The House oversight panel last week held a hearing on several CSB matters.

Labor Department Regulatory Agenda

Access the Labor Department agency rule list with OSHA items in the latest semiannual regulatory agenda.

Electronic Recordkeeping
Chemical Safety
Silica

OSHA Documents

Construction Industry Groups Issue Report On Silica Rule

The Construction Industry Safety Coalition has submitted a new report to OSHA highly critical of the agency's proposed crystalline silica rule, increasing the trade groups' earlier assessment of economic costs and saying the rule would . . .

NIOSH Touts Impact of Hearing Loss Prevention Program

NIOSH published a blog to demonstrate how employers can use the research agency's hearing loss prevention program to not only keep workplace noise exposures below OSHA-required levels but put even more effective controls in place. The . . .

Nanotech Experts Report On EHS Risk Concerns

Experts in the nanomaterials field, led by the National Nanotechnology Initiative, have issued a report from a 2013 workshop studying environmental, safety and health risk concerns from the emerging technology. The workshop, "Stakeholder Perspectives on Perception, . . .

EPA Advisors Provide Recommendations On Protecting Ag Workers

The National Environmental Justice Advisory Council wrote to the Environmental Protection Agency with several recommendations related to agricultural worker protection standards, including that: children under 18 years of age should not work as pesticide applicators; . . .

OSHA Documents