Thursday, September 18, 2014
OSHA Short Takes

Safety group backs reduced blood-alcohol caps to protect workers on road

A major occupational safety group is urging the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to continue efforts in pressuring states to lower the legal standard of blood-alcohol content (BAC) for impaired driving to .05 percent, as . . .

U.S. industrial hygienists ramp up China interaction

A key group of occupational health professionals in the United States has launched a broad effort to increase interactions with their counterparts in China to make international strides toward safety, health and environmental goals. The . . .

OSHA expands test lab standards

OSHA is set to publish in the Federal Register a new regulation that expands its Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory Program (NRTL) to include two new recognized test standards, and also increases the scope of Underwriters . . .

Occupational safety lawyers at Epstein Becker Green resign, launch new firm

A group of veteran occupational safety and health attorneys at Epstein Becker Green in Washington have resigned to launch their own boutique law firm focused on OSHA, labor and employment, and litigation legal services. Clients of . . .

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Fall Protection Tops Most-Cited OSHA Standards Over Past Fiscal Year, Data Show

OSHA's fall protection standards are once again the most-cited regulations stemming from OSHA inspections over the last fiscal year, show data newly released from the agency and compiled by a safety organization's journal.

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OSHA Sends Draft Beryllium Rule To OMB; Industry Heavily Involved In Talks On Exposure Limit

OSHA has sent to White House regulatory analysts a draft proposed rule aimed at reducing worker exposures to beryllium, taking a key step forward on a standard long sought by worker health experts but that has a narrower impact on industry than other pending rules on far more ubiquitous substances such as crystalline silica.

OSHA Leverages Training Funds To Build 'Capacity' At Safety, Health Groups

OSHA is using nearly $11 million in appropriated funds from Congress to bolster occupational safety and health programs conducted by groups around the country -- particularly by local advocacy committees that use money filtered down from their national organization -- to accomplish what the agency characterizes as "capacity building" efforts as OSHA puts a focus on compliance assistance activities.

Ebola Guidance Signals Respirator Use May Sometimes Be Needed In Patient Rooms

The Health and Human Services Department has issued wide-ranging guidance on ways to protect U.S. health care workers from potential Ebola exposure that suggests using respirators in certain situations -- a document that worker advocates generally praise for its intense focus on correct use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Employers Must Notify OSHA If Single Employee Suffers Eye Loss, Amputation, Hospital Stay

OSHA rolled out final injury reporting regulations Thursday that give the agency broader reach in collecting workplace injury data -- including one option for employers to file electronic reports -- with new requirements on notifying OSHA of amputations, hospital stays of one or more employees, and loss of a worker's eye, along with a sweeping update to work site classification codes for injury logs.

OSHA Poised To Issue Final Rule On Amputation And Hospitalization Reporting, NAICS Coding

OSHA is expected to unveil shortly a final rule that, based on an earlier proposal, likely will change injury and illness reporting requirements by putting in place stringent and controversial new mandates for employers to let authorities know when workers suffer amputations or hospitalizations on the job – on top of a long-anticipated roll-out of the new North American classification system for work sites that are required to report incidents to OSHA.

NIOSH Adds More Oral Drugs To List Of Potentially Risky Agents Used In Health Care

NIOSH has added more oral drugs to a list of what it classifies as hazardous drugs used in health care settings, the latest step in a decade-old project to inform stakeholders about patient drugs believed to put millions of U.S. health workers at risk of cancer and organ damage.

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Administration Backs House CR, Including Ebola Funds

The Obama administration says it supports House passage of H.J. Res. 124, making continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2015, including funds to address the Ebola epidemic and support prevention efforts (see related blog). The statement released Wednesday . . .

WTC Health Program Reaches Out With Social Media

The NIOSH-administered World Trade Center Health Program on Thursday (Sept. 11) launched a new outreach effort through social media to help eligible 9/11 responders and survivors understand how the program can help them through medical . . .

OSHA Issues Final Rule On New Injury Reporting Mandates

OSHA has issued the final version of its new rule to add reporting requirements for worker hospitalizations and amputations, as well as switching to the NAICS codes of industry classification for routine recordkeeping, as reported in Inside . . .

AFL-CIO Leader Calls For 9/11 Fund Reauthorization

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, in a statement on the Sept. 11 anniversary, called on supporters of the 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act to urge their members of Congress to support the bill. The 2010 law, providing medical care . . .

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