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Newsletter
Volume 106
September 4, 2012
Agricenter Launch Marks New Era for Training
Agricenter Launch
Agricenter LaunchAgricenter Launch
More than 200 supporters gathered on August 20th to celebrate the launch of the new Asmark Institute Agricenter in Bloomington, Illinois. Never before have retailers, farmers and employees of agriculture-related industries had a brick-and-mortar training facility to train on topics such as grain safety, anhydrous ammonia and the application of chemicals. The $2.75 million, 20,000 square foot complex is located at 14171 Carole Drive in Bloomington adjacent to the offices of the Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association (IFCA) and the Illinois Corn Growers Association (ICGA). The facility offers classroom settings in conjunction with specialized training space, much of it occupied by real-life scenarios including grain bins, anhydrous ammonia equipment, grain elevator equipment and innovative teaching aids such as a grain dust explosion simulator and an air-operated grain flow replicator. The Agricenter will also serve as the central point in the United States for the Ammonia Technician Course and as home base for the Professional Applicator Training course. The Asmark Institute partnered with the Grain & Feed Association of Illinois (GFAI) and IFCA to develop the Agricenter. "This building is agriculture's commitment to the life, safety and health of people who work in agriculture," said Jean Payne, President of IFCA. According to Jeff Adkisson, Executive Vice President for GFAI, "the Agricenter is the first of its kind. We know of no other facility like this anywhere in the nation." Click here for a quick view of the new Agricenter.
Safety Advisory Issued on Transfer Hose
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a Safety Advisory on August 20th regarding anhydrous ammonia and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) hoses used to transfer materials from cargo tanks to storage tanks. The safety advisory is the result of hoses being used that are incompatible with the material. A recent release of anhydrous ammonia in Swansea, SC was caused by the use of a hose marked for LPG-only. FMCSA issued the Safety Advisory to help reduce the likelihood of these types of incidents and encourages motor carriers to conduct a careful inspection prior to beginning the loading or unloading process. Each delivery hose assembly is permanently marked with a unique identification number and maximum working pressure. Many hoses are branded on the side with the designation "LPG TRANSFER ONLY" or "ANHYDROUS AMMONIA USE ONLY." Click here to read the entire Safety Advisory.
FMCSA Issues Final Rule on Commercial Vehicle Brake Adjustment Limits
DOT issued the final rule clarifying brake readjustment limits in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations on August 6th. The changes become effective September 5, 2012. The rule is the agency's response to a petition for reconsideration originally filed by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) in 2007. The petition sought to amend language in §393.47(e) to the FMCSR detailing maximum allowed pushrod stroke or readjustment limits for clamp-, long stroke clamp- and rotochamber-type actuators. The purpose of the amendment was to make clear during inspections, both roadside and at inspection facilities, what would be considered over the limits for purposes of out-of-service (OOS) citations. The tables provided by the agency for readjustment limits will now go to the tenth of a millimeter. Furthermore, vehicles will be considered in violation of the brake adjustment limits if the pushrod stroke exceeds the limits listed in the tables. This is different than the previous language, which required they must be under the limits at inspection. The intention is to eliminate confusion by inspectors and service professionals as to what brakes would need to be adjusted in order to not receive an OOS citation.
FDA Sued Over Failure to Publish FSMA Rules
Two activist food safety groups recently sued the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for failure to meet its mandated deadlines for publishing rules to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The suit wants the federal court to force FDA and the Office of Management & Budget (OMB) to begin enforcing the new food safety law, citing food disease outbreaks in just the last year. Pending at OMB are rules enforcing the sections of the new law on feed/animal foods, standards for analysis and preventative measures to ensure the safety of human foods and imported food and ingredients requirements. FDA submitted draft regulations to the OMB in 2011, but the complexity and cost of the rules have snagged the drafts in the OMB review process. FDA officials have said they expect to publish the rules sequentially later this year, beginning with the preventative controls rule, moving to a rule on standard setting for contaminations and ending with the feed/animal foods rule.
Spotlight: Kansas Applicator Institute Kicks Off Successfully
Over 225 individuals arrived in Great Bend, KS on August 8th for the first annual Kansas Applicator Institute (KAI). New excitement surrounded the Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association's (KARA) former Professional Applicator Training as the new Institute program was a joint training effort with the Kansas Ag Research and Technology Association. KARA is recognized as providing the Professional Applicator Training since the first year it was developed back in 1991 and has been offered consistently throughout the years. Congratulations to Tom Tunnell and his staff on forming the Kansas Applicator Institute!
DOT Proposes Rulemaking to Align HM Regulations Internationally
DOT has proposed to amend the Hazardous Materials Regulations to maintain alignment with international standards by incorporating various amendments, including changes to proper shipping names, hazard classes, packing groups, special provisions, packaging authorizations, air transport quantity limitations and vessel stowage requirements. DOT indicates these revisions are necessary to harmonize the Hazardous Materials Regulations with recent changes made to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code, the International Civil Aviation Organization's Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air and the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods. Comments must be received by October 15, 2012.
IFCA Developing New Ammonia Training Program
The Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association's (IFCA) new web-based training program on anhydrous ammonia, which will be voluntary, will include a new 15-minute training video and should only take approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour to complete. Upon completion, the user will have the option to print out a certificate. IFCA is working with Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Corn Growers Association and Illinois Department of Agriculture to develop the training program and video. The new materials are expected to be completed by January 2013. The Illinois EPA and Department of Agriculture asked IFCA to develop a new online NH3 training program for farmers due to the high number of anhydrous ammonia releases during application and transportation in which several users were hospitalized for anhydrous ammonia injuries this year in Illinois. If you have any questions about the program, please contact Kevin Runkle at the IFCA office at 309-827-2774.
Revised Head Protection Requirements Become Effective on September 20th
OSHA has issued a final rule revising head protection requirements to bring standards up-to-date. In a direct final rule published in the June 22, 2012, Federal Register, OSHA announced the revision of its personal protective equipment (PPE) sections under the general industry, construction, shipyard employment, long-shoring and marine terminals standards as they relate to head protection requirements. The rule becomes effective on September 20, 2012. According to OSHA, the standards are being updated to recognize the 2009 edition of the American National Standard for Industrial Head Protection, and to delete references to the 1986 edition of that national consensus standard since it is out of date. OSHA is also including the construction industry in this rulemaking to ensure consistency among the Agency's standards.
A few of the differences between the 2009 and prior editions of ANSI Z89.1 address optional testing for reverse wearing helmets, renaming of helmet classes and explanation of the limitations of protective helmets in preventing injuries. Click here for a complete recap of all of the differences between the ANSI Z89.1 - 2009 and prior editions.
New Federal Grant Helps States Fight Distracted Driving
DOT's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced a new grant program that will provide approximately $17.5 million to states that have laws banning distracted driving in fiscal year 2013. NHTSA estimates that at least 3,092 people were killed and an additional 416,000 others were injured in distraction-affected crashes in 2010, including crashes involving texting or other cell phone use. Authorized by Congress under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), the grant program provides approximately $17.5 million in FY 2013 for states that have enacted and are enforcing anti-distracted driving laws, including anti-texting statutes. To qualify, a state must have a comprehensive, primary law against distracted driving or a primary law prohibiting texting while driving, which allows law enforcement personnel to stop violators solely for distracted driving. States with secondary laws, which require law enforcement to observe a primary offense prior to enforcing the distraction law, would not be eligible. Under MAP-21, Congress has also authorized an additional $5 million for NHTSA to develop paid advertising to support state enforcement of laws against distracted driving.
Minnesota Supreme Court Reverses Decision on Spray Drift-Trespass Issue
The Minnesota Supreme Court recently ruled in Johnson vs. Paynesville Farmers Union Cooperative that Minnesota state law does not recognize trespass claims based on the alleged invasion of particulate matter via spray drift. The court reversed the lower appellate court's decision which, according to the Supreme Court, would potentially lead to automatic liability absent any show of injury. This is a positive decision as it fortifies Minnesota against any expansion of the use of trespass tort claims against conventional applicators. Additionally, the court ruled that nuisance and negligence claims based on alleged violation of federal organic standards are improper as the regulations only apply to the producers themselves, not neighboring farms; this analysis limits the breadth of national organic standards.
Senate Committee Approves Toxic Chemicals Legislation
A Democrat bill designed to modernize the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) was recently approved on a party-line vote by the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee, the committee charged with oversight over EPA. The bill requires to keep a product on the market, companies would have to disclose government test results on 84,000 covered chemical products showing the products to be safe. Currently, only 200 chemicals carry that requirement. The bill, authored by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D, NJ), had been the subject to negotiations as a draft, but Lautenberg brought the original bill to full committee with only minor changes, a move that outraged committee ranking member Senator James Inhofe (R, OK). He and Senators Lamar Alexander (R, TN) and David Vitter (R, LA) had asked Lautenberg to renew talks about bipartisan legislation to update TSCA, a 1976 law that has never been significantly amended. Inhofe thought he had an agreement to hold off on the TSCA update until September. The bill has little broad support in the Senate and the House has not begun consideration of any TSCA updates.
No Way That Taxes Will Not Increase in the Years Ahead
According to Armada Executive Intelligence the numbers are brutally simple - federal spending accounts for 25% of the economy and tax revenue is 15%. Analysis: One of the latest assessments comes from Bloomberg View and their conclusion is that the middle class will soon see a tax hike of between 5% and 10% after all is said and done. The liberal approach holds that the middle class will be spared if only the wealthy were brought to task, but even if one took a 75% cut of the wealth (as France has been trying to do) the deficit would be reduced by no more than 15% to 25% (depending on whose figures one uses). Given that kind of tax hike, it is almost certain there would be mass capital flight and that would drastically reduce the impact of the tax hike. The conservative assertion is that spending cuts will be sufficient, but that means a 10% to 20% cut in government activity across the board and that can't be accomplished without truly draconian cuts in every program and category - Medicare, Social Security, Defense, Infrastructure etc. The massive tax hike will be accelerated by the fact that states and cities will also be hiking their taxes in every category. There will be many new user fees as well. There are some who have computed all the potential tax hikes that have been seriously proposed and concluded that the average American would be paying out between 40% and 48% of their income in taxes and fees if these all came to fruition. Most assume that this would ensure another recession and probably lead to a true Depression.
DOT Launches Largest-ever Road Test of Vehicle Crash Avoidance Technology
Nearly 3,000 cars, trucks and buses equipped with "connected" Wi-Fi technology to enable vehicles and infrastructure to "talk" to each other in real time to help avoid crashes and improve traffic flow began traversing the streets of Ann Arbor, Michigan recently as part of a year-long safety pilot project by the DOT. Conducted by University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), the road test includes vehicles supplied mostly by volunteer participants that have been equipped with vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication devices that will gather extensive data about system operability and its effectiveness at reducing crashes. According to DOT's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), V2V safety technology could help drivers avoid or reduce the severity of four out of five unimpaired vehicle crashes. Such hazards include an impending collision at a blind intersection, a vehicle changing lanes in another vehicle's blind spot or a rear collision with a vehicle stopped ahead, among others.
Are You Enforcing Your Cell Phone Policy?
What happens when one of your employees causes an accident because his/her driving is distracted by a client phone call or a text or email response to the boss? Can the employer be liable for the accident? Most legal counsel says, "Yes!" Under the doctrine of "respondent superior," employers have traditionally been held liable for the tortuous conduct of their employees upon a finding that the conduct was within the course and scope of employment. And, it can be a challenge to define that for an employee who uses a cell phone 24-7 as an extension of the office. Additionally, the National Transportation Safety Board recently reminded employers they need a policy defining how employees may use a cell phone for work while driving. At a minimum, your policy should require compliance with local, state and federal regulations. But whatever your policy, you need to ensure it is enforced - it's your only way to potentially insulate your company from exposure to liability.
South Carolina - State Labor Law Poster Update
A new South Carolina notice issued in July contains a revision indicating that violations of the right to work law can result in penalties of up to $10,000. Previously the maximum penalty was $100. Other miscellaneous layout changes were made, as well as the rephrasing of the department names. This includes a material substantive change and a new South Carolina All-In-One poster is required. Click here to place an order for this poster if you are located in South Carolina.
Most Quotable: "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the United States (1825-1829)
2012 Asmark Institute, Inc. This information is believed to be reliable by the Asmark Institute, however, because of constantly changing government regulations, interpretations and applicability or the possibility of human, mechanical or computer error, the Asmark Institute does not guarantee the information as suitable for any particular purpose.
Agricenter Launch Marks New Era for Training
Agricenter Launch
Agricenter LaunchAgricenter Launch
More than 200 supporters gathered on August 20th to celebrate the launch of the new Asmark Institute Agricenter in Bloomington, Illinois. Never before have retailers, farmers and employees of agriculture-related industries had a brick-and-mortar training facility to train on topics such as grain safety, anhydrous ammonia and the application of chemicals. The $2.75 million, 20,000 square foot complex is located at 14171 Carole Drive in Bloomington adjacent to the offices of the Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association (IFCA) and the Illinois Corn Growers Association (ICGA). The facility offers classroom settings in conjunction with specialized training space, much of it occupied by real-life scenarios including grain bins, anhydrous ammonia equipment, grain elevator equipment and innovative teaching aids such as a grain dust explosion simulator and an air-operated grain flow replicator. The Agricenter will also serve as the central point in the United States for the Ammonia Technician Course and as home base for the Professional Applicator Training course. The Asmark Institute partnered with the Grain & Feed Association of Illinois (GFAI) and IFCA to develop the Agricenter. "This building is agriculture's commitment to the life, safety and health of people who work in agriculture," said Jean Payne, President of IFCA. According to Jeff Adkisson, Executive Vice President for GFAI, "the Agricenter is the first of its kind. We know of no other facility like this anywhere in the nation." Click here for a quick view of the new Agricenter.
Safety Advisory Issued on Transfer Hose
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a Safety Advisory on August 20th regarding anhydrous ammonia and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) hoses used to transfer materials from cargo tanks to storage tanks. The safety advisory is the result of hoses being used that are incompatible with the material. A recent release of anhydrous ammonia in Swansea, SC was caused by the use of a hose marked for LPG-only. FMCSA issued the Safety Advisory to help reduce the likelihood of these types of incidents and encourages motor carriers to conduct a careful inspection prior to beginning the loading or unloading process. Each delivery hose assembly is permanently marked with a unique identification number and maximum working pressure. Many hoses are branded on the side with the designation "LPG TRANSFER ONLY" or "ANHYDROUS AMMONIA USE ONLY." Click here to read the entire Safety Advisory.
FMCSA Issues Final Rule on Commercial Vehicle Brake Adjustment Limits
DOT issued the final rule clarifying brake readjustment limits in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations on August 6th. The changes become effective September 5, 2012. The rule is the agency's response to a petition for reconsideration originally filed by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) in 2007. The petition sought to amend language in §393.47(e) to the FMCSR detailing maximum allowed pushrod stroke or readjustment limits for clamp-, long stroke clamp- and rotochamber-type actuators. The purpose of the amendment was to make clear during inspections, both roadside and at inspection facilities, what would be considered over the limits for purposes of out-of-service (OOS) citations. The tables provided by the agency for readjustment limits will now go to the tenth of a millimeter. Furthermore, vehicles will be considered in violation of the brake adjustment limits if the pushrod stroke exceeds the limits listed in the tables. This is different than the previous language, which required they must be under the limits at inspection. The intention is to eliminate confusion by inspectors and service professionals as to what brakes would need to be adjusted in order to not receive an OOS citation.
FDA Sued Over Failure to Publish FSMA Rules
Two activist food safety groups recently sued the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for failure to meet its mandated deadlines for publishing rules to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The suit wants the federal court to force FDA and the Office of Management & Budget (OMB) to begin enforcing the new food safety law, citing food disease outbreaks in just the last year. Pending at OMB are rules enforcing the sections of the new law on feed/animal foods, standards for analysis and preventative measures to ensure the safety of human foods and imported food and ingredients requirements. FDA submitted draft regulations to the OMB in 2011, but the complexity and cost of the rules have snagged the drafts in the OMB review process. FDA officials have said they expect to publish the rules sequentially later this year, beginning with the preventative controls rule, moving to a rule on standard setting for contaminations and ending with the feed/animal foods rule.
Spotlight: Kansas Applicator Institute Kicks Off Successfully
Over 225 individuals arrived in Great Bend, KS on August 8th for the first annual Kansas Applicator Institute (KAI). New excitement surrounded the Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association's (KARA) former Professional Applicator Training as the new Institute program was a joint training effort with the Kansas Ag Research and Technology Association. KARA is recognized as providing the Professional Applicator Training since the first year it was developed back in 1991 and has been offered consistently throughout the years. Congratulations to Tom Tunnell and his staff on forming the Kansas Applicator Institute!
DOT Proposes Rulemaking to Align HM Regulations Internationally
DOT has proposed to amend the Hazardous Materials Regulations to maintain alignment with international standards by incorporating various amendments, including changes to proper shipping names, hazard classes, packing groups, special provisions, packaging authorizations, air transport quantity limitations and vessel stowage requirements. DOT indicates these revisions are necessary to harmonize the Hazardous Materials Regulations with recent changes made to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code, the International Civil Aviation Organization's Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air and the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods. Comments must be received by October 15, 2012.
IFCA Developing New Ammonia Training Program
The Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association's (IFCA) new web-based training program on anhydrous ammonia, which will be voluntary, will include a new 15-minute training video and should only take approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour to complete. Upon completion, the user will have the option to print out a certificate. IFCA is working with Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Corn Growers Association and Illinois Department of Agriculture to develop the training program and video. The new materials are expected to be completed by January 2013. The Illinois EPA and Department of Agriculture asked IFCA to develop a new online NH3 training program for farmers due to the high number of anhydrous ammonia releases during application and transportation in which several users were hospitalized for anhydrous ammonia injuries this year in Illinois. If you have any questions about the program, please contact Kevin Runkle at the IFCA office at 309-827-2774.
Revised Head Protection Requirements Become Effective on September 20th
OSHA has issued a final rule revising head protection requirements to bring standards up-to-date. In a direct final rule published in the June 22, 2012, Federal Register, OSHA announced the revision of its personal protective equipment (PPE) sections under the general industry, construction, shipyard employment, long-shoring and marine terminals standards as they relate to head protection requirements. The rule becomes effective on September 20, 2012. According to OSHA, the standards are being updated to recognize the 2009 edition of the American National Standard for Industrial Head Protection, and to delete references to the 1986 edition of that national consensus standard since it is out of date. OSHA is also including the construction industry in this rulemaking to ensure consistency among the Agency's standards.
A few of the differences between the 2009 and prior editions of ANSI Z89.1 address optional testing for reverse wearing helmets, renaming of helmet classes and explanation of the limitations of protective helmets in preventing injuries. Click here for a complete recap of all of the differences between the ANSI Z89.1 - 2009 and prior editions.
New Federal Grant Helps States Fight Distracted Driving
DOT's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced a new grant program that will provide approximately $17.5 million to states that have laws banning distracted driving in fiscal year 2013. NHTSA estimates that at least 3,092 people were killed and an additional 416,000 others were injured in distraction-affected crashes in 2010, including crashes involving texting or other cell phone use. Authorized by Congress under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), the grant program provides approximately $17.5 million in FY 2013 for states that have enacted and are enforcing anti-distracted driving laws, including anti-texting statutes. To qualify, a state must have a comprehensive, primary law against distracted driving or a primary law prohibiting texting while driving, which allows law enforcement personnel to stop violators solely for distracted driving. States with secondary laws, which require law enforcement to observe a primary offense prior to enforcing the distraction law, would not be eligible. Under MAP-21, Congress has also authorized an additional $5 million for NHTSA to develop paid advertising to support state enforcement of laws against distracted driving.
Minnesota Supreme Court Reverses Decision on Spray Drift-Trespass Issue
The Minnesota Supreme Court recently ruled in Johnson vs. Paynesville Farmers Union Cooperative that Minnesota state law does not recognize trespass claims based on the alleged invasion of particulate matter via spray drift. The court reversed the lower appellate court's decision which, according to the Supreme Court, would potentially lead to automatic liability absent any show of injury. This is a positive decision as it fortifies Minnesota against any expansion of the use of trespass tort claims against conventional applicators. Additionally, the court ruled that nuisance and negligence claims based on alleged violation of federal organic standards are improper as the regulations only apply to the producers themselves, not neighboring farms; this analysis limits the breadth of national organic standards.
Senate Committee Approves Toxic Chemicals Legislation
A Democrat bill designed to modernize the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) was recently approved on a party-line vote by the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee, the committee charged with oversight over EPA. The bill requires to keep a product on the market, companies would have to disclose government test results on 84,000 covered chemical products showing the products to be safe. Currently, only 200 chemicals carry that requirement. The bill, authored by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D, NJ), had been the subject to negotiations as a draft, but Lautenberg brought the original bill to full committee with only minor changes, a move that outraged committee ranking member Senator James Inhofe (R, OK). He and Senators Lamar Alexander (R, TN) and David Vitter (R, LA) had asked Lautenberg to renew talks about bipartisan legislation to update TSCA, a 1976 law that has never been significantly amended. Inhofe thought he had an agreement to hold off on the TSCA update until September. The bill has little broad support in the Senate and the House has not begun consideration of any TSCA updates.
No Way That Taxes Will Not Increase in the Years Ahead
According to Armada Executive Intelligence the numbers are brutally simple - federal spending accounts for 25% of the economy and tax revenue is 15%. Analysis: One of the latest assessments comes from Bloomberg View and their conclusion is that the middle class will soon see a tax hike of between 5% and 10% after all is said and done. The liberal approach holds that the middle class will be spared if only the wealthy were brought to task, but even if one took a 75% cut of the wealth (as France has been trying to do) the deficit would be reduced by no more than 15% to 25% (depending on whose figures one uses). Given that kind of tax hike, it is almost certain there would be mass capital flight and that would drastically reduce the impact of the tax hike. The conservative assertion is that spending cuts will be sufficient, but that means a 10% to 20% cut in government activity across the board and that can't be accomplished without truly draconian cuts in every program and category - Medicare, Social Security, Defense, Infrastructure etc. The massive tax hike will be accelerated by the fact that states and cities will also be hiking their taxes in every category. There will be many new user fees as well. There are some who have computed all the potential tax hikes that have been seriously proposed and concluded that the average American would be paying out between 40% and 48% of their income in taxes and fees if these all came to fruition. Most assume that this would ensure another recession and probably lead to a true Depression.
DOT Launches Largest-ever Road Test of Vehicle Crash Avoidance Technology
Nearly 3,000 cars, trucks and buses equipped with "connected" Wi-Fi technology to enable vehicles and infrastructure to "talk" to each other in real time to help avoid crashes and improve traffic flow began traversing the streets of Ann Arbor, Michigan recently as part of a year-long safety pilot project by the DOT. Conducted by University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), the road test includes vehicles supplied mostly by volunteer participants that have been equipped with vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication devices that will gather extensive data about system operability and its effectiveness at reducing crashes. According to DOT's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), V2V safety technology could help drivers avoid or reduce the severity of four out of five unimpaired vehicle crashes. Such hazards include an impending collision at a blind intersection, a vehicle changing lanes in another vehicle's blind spot or a rear collision with a vehicle stopped ahead, among others.
Are You Enforcing Your Cell Phone Policy?
What happens when one of your employees causes an accident because his/her driving is distracted by a client phone call or a text or email response to the boss? Can the employer be liable for the accident? Most legal counsel says, "Yes!" Under the doctrine of "respondent superior," employers have traditionally been held liable for the tortuous conduct of their employees upon a finding that the conduct was within the course and scope of employment. And, it can be a challenge to define that for an employee who uses a cell phone 24-7 as an extension of the office. Additionally, the National Transportation Safety Board recently reminded employers they need a policy defining how employees may use a cell phone for work while driving. At a minimum, your policy should require compliance with local, state and federal regulations. But whatever your policy, you need to ensure it is enforced - it's your only way to potentially insulate your company from exposure to liability.
South Carolina - State Labor Law Poster Update
A new South Carolina notice issued in July contains a revision indicating that violations of the right to work law can result in penalties of up to $10,000. Previously the maximum penalty was $100. Other miscellaneous layout changes were made, as well as the rephrasing of the department names. This includes a material substantive change and a new South Carolina All-In-One poster is required. Click here to place an order for this poster if you are located in South Carolina.
Most Quotable: "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the United States (1825-1829)
2012 Asmark Institute, Inc. This information is believed to be reliable by the Asmark Institute, however, because of constantly changing government regulations, interpretations and applicability or the possibility of human, mechanical or computer error, the Asmark Institute does not guarantee the information as suitable for any particular purpose.