International Clients
Australia
Canada
South America
×
 
Main Menu
Select A Category
About Us
Hot Topics
International Clients
Resources
Training Centers
 
Back to Main Menu
Hot Topics
Consolidation Chart
Helping Your CDL Drivers...
How To Comply (CFATS)
Prepare for a DOT Audit
PSM for Ag Retailers
Restricted CDL Report
 
Back to Main Menu
International Clients
Australia
Canada
South America
 
<
 
List
 
>
Newsletter
Volume 80
July 1, 2010
Snapshots Version 2
In November of 2008 we announced the release of Snapshots, our new management dashboard. This year, inspired by feedback from our most recent customer survey, we will be giving the Snapshots dashboard a major facelift. A big part of the change is the option to participate in an Electronic Service Program (ESP) so you will be able to receive many reports via the website instead of traditional mail or UPS. One feature will be to give you instant access to reports such as the monthly Driver Status Report and Respirator Status Report. Our goal is to save you time and money while helping you meet the regulatory requirements.
National Safety School 2010 - Mark your calendars!
The National Agronomic Environmental Health and Safety School will be held on August 17th & 18th this year at the Doubletree Hotel in Bloomington, Illinois. There is a renewed spirit and level of energy in the Safety School and we encourage everyone to register and participate in this quality program. An outstanding lineup of topics and speakers for 2010 have been secured. Click here to view the agenda and to register. The Safety School program will benefit you and your staff! We ask that you seriously consider attending this year to see for yourself. The website address for the Safety School is: www.naehss.org.
Reminder: HazMat Annual Registration Expires on June 30th
If your company transports, or offers for transport, hazardous materials that require placarding by the DOT, they must be registered with the Department of Transportation (DOT). If your company registers with DOT annually, then your HazMat Registration expires on June 30th each year. If your company registers for a two or three year period, check your registration for the expiration year. A copy of the current registration must be carried in every company vehicle used to transport hazardous materials. You can register and pay the fee online at the DOT's website by clicking here.
Welcome to South Dakota
Kathy Zander, Executive Director of the South Dakota Agri-Business Council, and Randy Lawrence with the Asmark Institute recently traveled to Mitchell, SD to set-up one of her association members on Asmark Institute's Lighthouse program. They spent the day explaining the various aspects of the program, gathering information and touring the facility. We look forward to working with Kathy in helping Big Green with their compliance needs.
Deadline to Register: 2010 Emergency Response Refresher Course
If you haven't registered for the 2010 refresher course of your choice - time is running out. The deadline to register is July 10, 2010. Invitations were mailed on May 28th and many of the classes are already full. There will be 32 days of training provided at remote locations around the country this year for the one-day refresher course. If you received an invitation, please register today to ensure space is available for the class of your choice. Register online by clicking here.
Additional Information Provided on Driver Status Report
Effective June 1, 2010 the type of license a driver holds will be tracked with the most recent data reflected on the Driver Status report. This additional information was provided on your most recent Driver Status report that was mailed on June 16th. We have added the step of reviewing the type (CDL or Operator) of the most recent driver's license or motor vehicle record and using the data to update our database. This is not a perfect science and will never be completely accurate, especially with the constant changes that occur with the Ag-Restricted CDL. The only conclusive way to know the type of license each of your drivers possess, is to ask them to see the license they are carrying. The new step is designed to help provide managers with a little more information in a summarized form on the monthly Driver Status Report. It should help serve as a prompt to managers to continually monitor the license information possessed by the drivers they utilize to make sure they are properly qualified to drive the vehicles and cargo being transported. We hope you will find this added information beneficial.
USEPA Releases NPDES Permit: Submit Your Comments by July 19, 2010
EPA released the long-awaited draft NPDES permit on June 2, 2010 that will be required for certain pesticide applications. The permit would apply to the following pesticide uses: 1) mosquito or other flying insect control; 2) aquatic weed and algae control; 3) aquatic nuisance animal control; and 4) forest canopy pest control. EPA is taking public comments on the draft permit until July 19th, including whether it should cover additional pesticide uses. EPA estimates the permit will apply to 35,000 pesticide applicators. The permit is scheduled to become effective on April 9, 2011.
Whether or not you know your legislator, now is the time to go meet with them. The NPDES requirements pose an unreasonable burden on the agricultural industry, especially in these tough, economic times. We appreciate and support the effort led by CropLife America and the State Agribusiness Associations on this issue. Our industry must continue to work with Congress to urge them to treat pesticide applications as non-point source applications and therefore not be subject to Clean Water Act programs such as the NPDES program. Click here for more information.
Heads Up! Nurse Tank Integrity of Concern
The Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association (KARA) recently reported that at least one of their members purchased new ammonia nurse tanks this past spring and has had leaks in the welds on several of the new tanks. An issue was discovered in the metal on at least one particular tank. KARA is wanting to know if this is a unique situation or if other KARA member companies are experiencing the same situation. If you have recently purchased new tanks and have had integrity issues, please contact Sarah Bowser at sarah@kansasag.org or (785) 234-0461.
Effects of Gulf Oil Spill Ripples Through U.S.
Like the oil leaking from the ruptured BP oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, economic ripples are spreading across the country. We are already getting reports from suppliers of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) of delays and increased costs as routine shipments are disrupted. As oil slicks become a factor for shipping lanes, the added costs and time spent washing ships will be passed along with the cargo. Specifically, we are told that Saranex suits are being backordered for months as new containers are already spoken for before they arrive at the ports. With Saranex in high demand Tyvek suits are being purchased as alternatives which is beginning to effect their availability as well. Fortunately, we had already ordered in advance for this year's Emergency Response Refresher Training so participants will still be able to dress out for hands on scenarios as usual. We will continue to keep you updated as we see changes in PPE availability and pricing.
607 Facilities Receive CFATS Notifications
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) notified 607 facilities on June 18, 2010 of their final tier ranking under the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS). In issuing the notice, DHS advised that 265 of the 607 are now unregulated. The 342 facilities that were ranked are required to submit site security plans to DHS not later than October 18, 2010.
CSA 2010 - 11,000+ Have Already Previewed Data
DOT's Comprehensive Safety Analysis (CSA) 2010 Data Preview, which allows individual motor carriers to review their safety performance data by the CSA 2010 Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) has been available for just over two months now. According to CSA's website an average of 723 new Motor Carriers are logging in each week. To date, 11,259 unique Motor Carriers have viewed their safety data by BASIC since the site launched on April 12th. The data preview period ends on November 30, 2010, the national launch date for the CSA 2010 safety enforcement program. During the data preview period, motor carriers are encouraged to closely examine their performance data and immediately address any safety problems. This is also an opportunity for motor carriers to update and verify their safety performance data online. This important step is designed to focus motor carriers on identifying and addressing unsafe behaviors that can lead to crash risk. It also underscores FMCSA's commitment to data integrity and the motor carrier industry's responsibility for ensuring commercial vehicle safety. Complete details on the Data Preview and the CSA 2010 implementation schedule are published in the Federal Register. Sounds to us like DOT is asking you to preview and "proof" your data before the program is launched officially in December.
Change in Leadership at ACI
The Agribusiness Council of Indiana's Board of Directors recently initiated an exploratory process to consider candidates for their association management and legislative/regulatory representation. ACI wants to strengthen strategic planning, membership outreach and recruitment, engagement with industry partners, as well as continue with legislative and regulatory monitoring. The ACI Board received several strong proposals from well-known industry leaders and consultants. As a result of this comprehensive process, the Board selected the team of Ice Miller LLP and KWK Management to lead ACI through these critical new efforts. Beth Bechdol, who serves as Ice Miller's Director of Agribusiness Strategies, will have a significant leadership role and brings her deep industry background and national network to ACI. She will be supported by an accomplished team of Ice Miller government affairs attorneys as well as KWK association managers and event planners. The transition to Ice Miller and KWK will be complete by July 1.
EPA to Seek Employee Participation in Chemical Safety Inspections
EPA has released interim guidance that would provide greater transparency in the agency's chemical safety inspections process. Under the interim guidance, EPA inspectors will offer employees and employee representatives the opportunity to participate in chemical safety inspections. In addition, EPA will request that state and local agencies adopt similar procedures under the Risk Management Program. EPA believes that close involvement of employees and employee representatives in inspections is effective and better protects workers and the adjacent communities.
The interim guidance pertains to inspections conducted by EPA under the agency's Risk Management Program (RMP). Through this program, EPA seeks to reduce the risks to surrounding communities that arise from the management, use or storage of certain hazardous chemicals. Owners and operators of covered facilities must develop a risk management plan, which includes facility plans for the prevention and response to chemical accidents. Under the Clean Air Act, the Chemical Accident Prevention Provisions require facilities that produce, handle, process, distribute, or store certain chemicals to develop a Risk Management Program, prepare a risk management plan, and submit the plan to EPA. EPA expects to issue final guidance on participation of employees and employee representative in RMP inspections later this year.
Supreme Court Broadens OSHA Scope
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia recently ruled that OSHA has the authority to impose on employers separate penalties for each employee affected by a violation of federal safety and health law. The National Association of Home Builders, with backing from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, had challenged this authority when OSHA amended its standards in a final rule. The final rule, effective January of 2009, clarified that employers could be held liable on a per-employee basis for failing to provide training and respirators for employees. The rule amended 35 standards in Title 29 of Federal Regulations. The National Association of Home Builders is reviewing the decision to determine what action to take next.
Major Changes: New Walking-Working Surfaces Proposed Rule
OSHA published a long-awaited proposed rulemaking, which will revise the walking-working surfaces and personal protective equipment standards to improve worker protection from tripping, slipping, and falling hazards. The proposed revisions include a reorganization and redesignation of the standards to make the rule clearer, as well as a performance-oriented approach to compliance. The proposed rule establishes requirements for general industry walking-working surfaces and prescribes the use of fall protection systems (including personal fall protection systems) to protect employees from falls. It also contains performance criteria for personal fall protection systems.
According to OSHA, the current walking-working surfaces regulations allow employers to provide outdated and dangerous fall protection equipment such as lanyards and body belts that can result in workers suffering greater injury from falls. Construction and maritime workers already receive safer, more effective fall protection devices such as self-retracting lanyards and ladder safety and rope descent systems. The proposed revisions would also require similar protections for general industry workers.
In addition, the current walking-working surfaces standards do not allow OSHA to fine employers who let workers climb certain ladders without fall protection. Under the revised standards, this restriction is lifted in virtually all industries, allowing OSHA inspectors to fine employers who jeopardize their workers' safety and lives by permitting the climbing of these ladders without proper fall protection. OSHA is also adding an entirely new section (1910.140) under Subpart I, "Personal Protective Equipment," which provides requirements for selection, use, testing, inspection, maintenance, and training with regard to personal fall protection systems. OSHA estimates these revisions will help prevent 20 workplace fatalities per year and more than 3,500 injuries serious enough to cause people to miss work.
FMCSA Publishes Technical Amendments to Medical Card/CDL Rules
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has published revisions to 49 CFR Parts 383 and 391 making technical amendments to the Medical Certification Requirements as Part of the Commercial Driver's License (CDL). The amendments in this final rule became effective May 21, 2010.
For investigations and inquiries, if the driver provided the motor carrier with a copy of the current medical examiner's certificate that was submitted to the State, the motor carrier may use a copy of a medical examiner's certificate as proof of the driver's medical certification for up to 15 days after the date it was issued.
391.41 Physical qualifications for drivers has been revised to read: Beginning January 30, 2012, a driver required to have a commercial driver's license under part 383 of this chapter, and who submitted a current medical examiner's certificate to the State in accordance with § 383.71(h) of this chapter documenting that he or she meets the physical qualification requirements of this part, no longer needs to carry on his or her person the medical examiner's certificate specified at § 391.43(h), or a copy. If there is no medical certification information on that driver's CDLIS motor vehicle record defined at 49 CFR 384.105, a current medical examiner's certificate issued prior to January 30, 2012, will be accepted until January 30, 2014. After January 30, 2014, a driver may use a copy of the current medical examiner's certificate that was submitted to the State for up to 15 days after the date it was issued as proof of medical certification. A CDL holder required to obtain a medical examiner's certificate, who obtained such by virtue of having obtained a medical variance from FMCSA, must continue to have in his or her possession the original or copy of that medical variance documentation at all times when on-duty.
391.51 General requirements for driver qualification files has been revised to read: Exception. For CDL holders, beginning January 30, 2012, if the CDLIS motor vehicle record contains medical certification status information, the motor carrier employer must meet this requirement by obtaining the CDLIS motor vehicle record defined at § 384.105 of this chapter. That record must be obtained from the current licensing State and placed in the driver qualification file. After January 30, 2014, a non-excepted, interstate CDL holder without medical certification status information on the CDLIS motor vehicle record is designated ''not certified'' to operate a CMV in interstate commerce. After January 30, 2014, a motor carrier may use a copy of the driver's current medical examiner's certificate that was submitted to the State for up to 15 days from the date it was issued as proof of medical certification
Interest Rates Likely to Hold Until 2012
A research paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco states that the central bank probably will keep interest rates at their level because of high unemployment and low inflation. The paper does not represent the Fed's official position.
Ethanol E15 Ruling Delayed
EPA is delaying its ruling on a petition to raise the ethanol blend limit from 10% to 15% until fall. The Department of Energy needs to conduct more tests on the effect of the higher blend on vehicles built during the last three model years. The EPA has indicated in the past that it will raise the blend, saying a congressional mandate for increased ethanol use can't be achieved without allowing higher blends of the renewable fuel, most of which comes from corn. Congress has required refiners to blend 12.9 billion gallons of biofuels in 2010, of which 12 billion gallons would be ethanol. The mandate soars to 36 billion gallons, mostly ethanol, by 2022.
J.J. Keller & Associates Advises: Use the right type of eye and face protection
The type of eye and face protection you select for your employees to use is based on an assessment of the job's hazards. Once you know the hazards, be sure to select the right type of protection.
  • Safety spectacles are impact-resistant eyeglasses. They have strong safety frames and impact-resistant lenses. They come with and without side shields. OSHA requires side protection (side shields) when there's a hazard from flying objects. Some models are designed to fit over regular prescription glasses.
  • Goggles fit the face to form a protective seal around the eyes. They protect the eyes from impact, dust, splashes, mists, vapors, and fumes. Different types of goggles are designed for different types of hazards.
  • Face shields are protective windows that extend from the brow to below the chin across the entire width of the head. Face shields are secondary protection. Safety goggles or spectacles must be worn under a face shield to provide primary protection. Face shields provide additional protection from impact, chemical splashes or sprays, high temperatures, splashes from molten metal, and sparks.
  • Welding helmets are heat resistant, and they're fitted with a filtered lens. They provide secondary protection from optical radiation, flying sparks, metal spatter, and slag chips produced during welding, cutting, and brazing. Safety goggles or spectacles provide the primary eye protection under the welding helmet.
The updated American National Standard for Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protective Devices (ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2010) takes a "hazard-based" approach and prescribes the design, performance specifications, and marking of safety eye and face products, including the safety goggles, spectacles, face shields, and welding helmets.
One of the major changes from its predecessor versions is how the standard is organized, with focus on the hazard exposure rather than protector configuration. "Regardless of protector type, the risk to the wearer remains the same. With the end-user in mind, the Committee agreed early-on that the standard should represent a more hazard-based approach," said Dan Torgersen, Vice President of Walman Optical in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Chairman of the Z87 Committee. "This hazard-based approach encourages users and employers to evaluate the specific hazards in their work environment, and to make the selection of appropriate eye and face protection based on this assessment."
OSHA Seeks to Fund Longterm Programs That Build Safety and Health Competence
OSHA is soliciting applications for $8 million in Susan Harwood Safety and Health Capacity Building Training Grants, which seek to fund longer term programs that build safety and health competency within organizations. This means programs that will focus on training workers to recognize hazards and appropriate control measures, and to understand their rights under OSHA regulations and standards. The grants are available to nonprofit, community, and faith-based organizations to provide safety and health training educational programs for workers and employers. Two types of grant awards may be made for capacity building grants: 1) Pilot grants, and 2) Developmental grants.
Pilot grants are intended to assist organizations that need time to assess needs and formulate a plan before moving forward with a full scale safety and health education program. Developmental grants are for organizations that already have established the capability to provide occupational safety and health training, education, and related assistance to their constituents and are seeking to expand and develop their capacity. Click here for more information.
2010 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.
Snapshots Version 2
In November of 2008 we announced the release of Snapshots, our new management dashboard. This year, inspired by feedback from our most recent customer survey, we will be giving the Snapshots dashboard a major facelift. A big part of the change is the option to participate in an Electronic Service Program (ESP) so you will be able to receive many reports via the website instead of traditional mail or UPS. One feature will be to give you instant access to reports such as the monthly Driver Status Report and Respirator Status Report. Our goal is to save you time and money while helping you meet the regulatory requirements.
National Safety School 2010 - Mark your calendars!
The National Agronomic Environmental Health and Safety School will be held on August 17th & 18th this year at the Doubletree Hotel in Bloomington, Illinois. There is a renewed spirit and level of energy in the Safety School and we encourage everyone to register and participate in this quality program. An outstanding lineup of topics and speakers for 2010 have been secured. Click here to view the agenda and to register. The Safety School program will benefit you and your staff! We ask that you seriously consider attending this year to see for yourself. The website address for the Safety School is: www.naehss.org.
Reminder: HazMat Annual Registration Expires on June 30th
If your company transports, or offers for transport, hazardous materials that require placarding by the DOT, they must be registered with the Department of Transportation (DOT). If your company registers with DOT annually, then your HazMat Registration expires on June 30th each year. If your company registers for a two or three year period, check your registration for the expiration year. A copy of the current registration must be carried in every company vehicle used to transport hazardous materials. You can register and pay the fee online at the DOT's website by clicking here.
Welcome to South Dakota
Kathy Zander, Executive Director of the South Dakota Agri-Business Council, and Randy Lawrence with the Asmark Institute recently traveled to Mitchell, SD to set-up one of her association members on Asmark Institute's Lighthouse program. They spent the day explaining the various aspects of the program, gathering information and touring the facility. We look forward to working with Kathy in helping Big Green with their compliance needs.
Deadline to Register: 2010 Emergency Response Refresher Course
If you haven't registered for the 2010 refresher course of your choice - time is running out. The deadline to register is July 10, 2010. Invitations were mailed on May 28th and many of the classes are already full. There will be 32 days of training provided at remote locations around the country this year for the one-day refresher course. If you received an invitation, please register today to ensure space is available for the class of your choice. Register online by clicking here.
Additional Information Provided on Driver Status Report
Effective June 1, 2010 the type of license a driver holds will be tracked with the most recent data reflected on the Driver Status report. This additional information was provided on your most recent Driver Status report that was mailed on June 16th. We have added the step of reviewing the type (CDL or Operator) of the most recent driver's license or motor vehicle record and using the data to update our database. This is not a perfect science and will never be completely accurate, especially with the constant changes that occur with the Ag-Restricted CDL. The only conclusive way to know the type of license each of your drivers possess, is to ask them to see the license they are carrying. The new step is designed to help provide managers with a little more information in a summarized form on the monthly Driver Status Report. It should help serve as a prompt to managers to continually monitor the license information possessed by the drivers they utilize to make sure they are properly qualified to drive the vehicles and cargo being transported. We hope you will find this added information beneficial.
USEPA Releases NPDES Permit: Submit Your Comments by July 19, 2010
EPA released the long-awaited draft NPDES permit on June 2, 2010 that will be required for certain pesticide applications. The permit would apply to the following pesticide uses: 1) mosquito or other flying insect control; 2) aquatic weed and algae control; 3) aquatic nuisance animal control; and 4) forest canopy pest control. EPA is taking public comments on the draft permit until July 19th, including whether it should cover additional pesticide uses. EPA estimates the permit will apply to 35,000 pesticide applicators. The permit is scheduled to become effective on April 9, 2011.
Whether or not you know your legislator, now is the time to go meet with them. The NPDES requirements pose an unreasonable burden on the agricultural industry, especially in these tough, economic times. We appreciate and support the effort led by CropLife America and the State Agribusiness Associations on this issue. Our industry must continue to work with Congress to urge them to treat pesticide applications as non-point source applications and therefore not be subject to Clean Water Act programs such as the NPDES program. Click here for more information.
Heads Up! Nurse Tank Integrity of Concern
The Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association (KARA) recently reported that at least one of their members purchased new ammonia nurse tanks this past spring and has had leaks in the welds on several of the new tanks. An issue was discovered in the metal on at least one particular tank. KARA is wanting to know if this is a unique situation or if other KARA member companies are experiencing the same situation. If you have recently purchased new tanks and have had integrity issues, please contact Sarah Bowser at sarah@kansasag.org or (785) 234-0461.
Effects of Gulf Oil Spill Ripples Through U.S.
Like the oil leaking from the ruptured BP oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, economic ripples are spreading across the country. We are already getting reports from suppliers of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) of delays and increased costs as routine shipments are disrupted. As oil slicks become a factor for shipping lanes, the added costs and time spent washing ships will be passed along with the cargo. Specifically, we are told that Saranex suits are being backordered for months as new containers are already spoken for before they arrive at the ports. With Saranex in high demand Tyvek suits are being purchased as alternatives which is beginning to effect their availability as well. Fortunately, we had already ordered in advance for this year's Emergency Response Refresher Training so participants will still be able to dress out for hands on scenarios as usual. We will continue to keep you updated as we see changes in PPE availability and pricing.
607 Facilities Receive CFATS Notifications
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) notified 607 facilities on June 18, 2010 of their final tier ranking under the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS). In issuing the notice, DHS advised that 265 of the 607 are now unregulated. The 342 facilities that were ranked are required to submit site security plans to DHS not later than October 18, 2010.
CSA 2010 - 11,000+ Have Already Previewed Data
DOT's Comprehensive Safety Analysis (CSA) 2010 Data Preview, which allows individual motor carriers to review their safety performance data by the CSA 2010 Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) has been available for just over two months now. According to CSA's website an average of 723 new Motor Carriers are logging in each week. To date, 11,259 unique Motor Carriers have viewed their safety data by BASIC since the site launched on April 12th. The data preview period ends on November 30, 2010, the national launch date for the CSA 2010 safety enforcement program. During the data preview period, motor carriers are encouraged to closely examine their performance data and immediately address any safety problems. This is also an opportunity for motor carriers to update and verify their safety performance data online. This important step is designed to focus motor carriers on identifying and addressing unsafe behaviors that can lead to crash risk. It also underscores FMCSA's commitment to data integrity and the motor carrier industry's responsibility for ensuring commercial vehicle safety. Complete details on the Data Preview and the CSA 2010 implementation schedule are published in the Federal Register. Sounds to us like DOT is asking you to preview and "proof" your data before the program is launched officially in December.
Change in Leadership at ACI
The Agribusiness Council of Indiana's Board of Directors recently initiated an exploratory process to consider candidates for their association management and legislative/regulatory representation. ACI wants to strengthen strategic planning, membership outreach and recruitment, engagement with industry partners, as well as continue with legislative and regulatory monitoring. The ACI Board received several strong proposals from well-known industry leaders and consultants. As a result of this comprehensive process, the Board selected the team of Ice Miller LLP and KWK Management to lead ACI through these critical new efforts. Beth Bechdol, who serves as Ice Miller's Director of Agribusiness Strategies, will have a significant leadership role and brings her deep industry background and national network to ACI. She will be supported by an accomplished team of Ice Miller government affairs attorneys as well as KWK association managers and event planners. The transition to Ice Miller and KWK will be complete by July 1.
EPA to Seek Employee Participation in Chemical Safety Inspections
EPA has released interim guidance that would provide greater transparency in the agency's chemical safety inspections process. Under the interim guidance, EPA inspectors will offer employees and employee representatives the opportunity to participate in chemical safety inspections. In addition, EPA will request that state and local agencies adopt similar procedures under the Risk Management Program. EPA believes that close involvement of employees and employee representatives in inspections is effective and better protects workers and the adjacent communities.
The interim guidance pertains to inspections conducted by EPA under the agency's Risk Management Program (RMP). Through this program, EPA seeks to reduce the risks to surrounding communities that arise from the management, use or storage of certain hazardous chemicals. Owners and operators of covered facilities must develop a risk management plan, which includes facility plans for the prevention and response to chemical accidents. Under the Clean Air Act, the Chemical Accident Prevention Provisions require facilities that produce, handle, process, distribute, or store certain chemicals to develop a Risk Management Program, prepare a risk management plan, and submit the plan to EPA. EPA expects to issue final guidance on participation of employees and employee representative in RMP inspections later this year.
Supreme Court Broadens OSHA Scope
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia recently ruled that OSHA has the authority to impose on employers separate penalties for each employee affected by a violation of federal safety and health law. The National Association of Home Builders, with backing from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, had challenged this authority when OSHA amended its standards in a final rule. The final rule, effective January of 2009, clarified that employers could be held liable on a per-employee basis for failing to provide training and respirators for employees. The rule amended 35 standards in Title 29 of Federal Regulations. The National Association of Home Builders is reviewing the decision to determine what action to take next.
Major Changes: New Walking-Working Surfaces Proposed Rule
OSHA published a long-awaited proposed rulemaking, which will revise the walking-working surfaces and personal protective equipment standards to improve worker protection from tripping, slipping, and falling hazards. The proposed revisions include a reorganization and redesignation of the standards to make the rule clearer, as well as a performance-oriented approach to compliance. The proposed rule establishes requirements for general industry walking-working surfaces and prescribes the use of fall protection systems (including personal fall protection systems) to protect employees from falls. It also contains performance criteria for personal fall protection systems.
According to OSHA, the current walking-working surfaces regulations allow employers to provide outdated and dangerous fall protection equipment such as lanyards and body belts that can result in workers suffering greater injury from falls. Construction and maritime workers already receive safer, more effective fall protection devices such as self-retracting lanyards and ladder safety and rope descent systems. The proposed revisions would also require similar protections for general industry workers.
In addition, the current walking-working surfaces standards do not allow OSHA to fine employers who let workers climb certain ladders without fall protection. Under the revised standards, this restriction is lifted in virtually all industries, allowing OSHA inspectors to fine employers who jeopardize their workers' safety and lives by permitting the climbing of these ladders without proper fall protection. OSHA is also adding an entirely new section (1910.140) under Subpart I, "Personal Protective Equipment," which provides requirements for selection, use, testing, inspection, maintenance, and training with regard to personal fall protection systems. OSHA estimates these revisions will help prevent 20 workplace fatalities per year and more than 3,500 injuries serious enough to cause people to miss work.
FMCSA Publishes Technical Amendments to Medical Card/CDL Rules
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has published revisions to 49 CFR Parts 383 and 391 making technical amendments to the Medical Certification Requirements as Part of the Commercial Driver's License (CDL). The amendments in this final rule became effective May 21, 2010.
For investigations and inquiries, if the driver provided the motor carrier with a copy of the current medical examiner's certificate that was submitted to the State, the motor carrier may use a copy of a medical examiner's certificate as proof of the driver's medical certification for up to 15 days after the date it was issued.
391.41 Physical qualifications for drivers has been revised to read: Beginning January 30, 2012, a driver required to have a commercial driver's license under part 383 of this chapter, and who submitted a current medical examiner's certificate to the State in accordance with § 383.71(h) of this chapter documenting that he or she meets the physical qualification requirements of this part, no longer needs to carry on his or her person the medical examiner's certificate specified at § 391.43(h), or a copy. If there is no medical certification information on that driver's CDLIS motor vehicle record defined at 49 CFR 384.105, a current medical examiner's certificate issued prior to January 30, 2012, will be accepted until January 30, 2014. After January 30, 2014, a driver may use a copy of the current medical examiner's certificate that was submitted to the State for up to 15 days after the date it was issued as proof of medical certification. A CDL holder required to obtain a medical examiner's certificate, who obtained such by virtue of having obtained a medical variance from FMCSA, must continue to have in his or her possession the original or copy of that medical variance documentation at all times when on-duty.
391.51 General requirements for driver qualification files has been revised to read: Exception. For CDL holders, beginning January 30, 2012, if the CDLIS motor vehicle record contains medical certification status information, the motor carrier employer must meet this requirement by obtaining the CDLIS motor vehicle record defined at § 384.105 of this chapter. That record must be obtained from the current licensing State and placed in the driver qualification file. After January 30, 2014, a non-excepted, interstate CDL holder without medical certification status information on the CDLIS motor vehicle record is designated ''not certified'' to operate a CMV in interstate commerce. After January 30, 2014, a motor carrier may use a copy of the driver's current medical examiner's certificate that was submitted to the State for up to 15 days from the date it was issued as proof of medical certification
Interest Rates Likely to Hold Until 2012
A research paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco states that the central bank probably will keep interest rates at their level because of high unemployment and low inflation. The paper does not represent the Fed's official position.
Ethanol E15 Ruling Delayed
EPA is delaying its ruling on a petition to raise the ethanol blend limit from 10% to 15% until fall. The Department of Energy needs to conduct more tests on the effect of the higher blend on vehicles built during the last three model years. The EPA has indicated in the past that it will raise the blend, saying a congressional mandate for increased ethanol use can't be achieved without allowing higher blends of the renewable fuel, most of which comes from corn. Congress has required refiners to blend 12.9 billion gallons of biofuels in 2010, of which 12 billion gallons would be ethanol. The mandate soars to 36 billion gallons, mostly ethanol, by 2022.
J.J. Keller & Associates Advises: Use the right type of eye and face protection
The type of eye and face protection you select for your employees to use is based on an assessment of the job's hazards. Once you know the hazards, be sure to select the right type of protection.
  • Safety spectacles are impact-resistant eyeglasses. They have strong safety frames and impact-resistant lenses. They come with and without side shields. OSHA requires side protection (side shields) when there's a hazard from flying objects. Some models are designed to fit over regular prescription glasses.
  • Goggles fit the face to form a protective seal around the eyes. They protect the eyes from impact, dust, splashes, mists, vapors, and fumes. Different types of goggles are designed for different types of hazards.
  • Face shields are protective windows that extend from the brow to below the chin across the entire width of the head. Face shields are secondary protection. Safety goggles or spectacles must be worn under a face shield to provide primary protection. Face shields provide additional protection from impact, chemical splashes or sprays, high temperatures, splashes from molten metal, and sparks.
  • Welding helmets are heat resistant, and they're fitted with a filtered lens. They provide secondary protection from optical radiation, flying sparks, metal spatter, and slag chips produced during welding, cutting, and brazing. Safety goggles or spectacles provide the primary eye protection under the welding helmet.
The updated American National Standard for Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protective Devices (ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2010) takes a "hazard-based" approach and prescribes the design, performance specifications, and marking of safety eye and face products, including the safety goggles, spectacles, face shields, and welding helmets.
One of the major changes from its predecessor versions is how the standard is organized, with focus on the hazard exposure rather than protector configuration. "Regardless of protector type, the risk to the wearer remains the same. With the end-user in mind, the Committee agreed early-on that the standard should represent a more hazard-based approach," said Dan Torgersen, Vice President of Walman Optical in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Chairman of the Z87 Committee. "This hazard-based approach encourages users and employers to evaluate the specific hazards in their work environment, and to make the selection of appropriate eye and face protection based on this assessment."
OSHA Seeks to Fund Longterm Programs That Build Safety and Health Competence
OSHA is soliciting applications for $8 million in Susan Harwood Safety and Health Capacity Building Training Grants, which seek to fund longer term programs that build safety and health competency within organizations. This means programs that will focus on training workers to recognize hazards and appropriate control measures, and to understand their rights under OSHA regulations and standards. The grants are available to nonprofit, community, and faith-based organizations to provide safety and health training educational programs for workers and employers. Two types of grant awards may be made for capacity building grants: 1) Pilot grants, and 2) Developmental grants.
Pilot grants are intended to assist organizations that need time to assess needs and formulate a plan before moving forward with a full scale safety and health education program. Developmental grants are for organizations that already have established the capability to provide occupational safety and health training, education, and related assistance to their constituents and are seeking to expand and develop their capacity. Click here for more information.
2010 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.