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This final rule provides the statutorily-prescribed 2022 adjustment to civil penalty amounts that may be imposed for violations of certain DOT regulations. In addition, this rule notes new DOT civil penalties authority provided in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL, enacted as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act).

PDF: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2022-03-21/pdf/2022-04456.pdf

Tagged in: fmcsa workplace safety
In January 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court effectively struck down President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine-or-test mandate, which was to be enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In the wake of the High Court’s decision, OSHA may retreat somewhat from the headlines, but you can still expect the agency to exercise a major impact on how America’s employers manage their workforces this year.
 

 

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The North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week is held every year during the first full week of May. The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) partners with the Canadian Society of Safety Professionals (CSSP) to raise public awareness about occupational safety, health and environment in an effort to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses.

Statistics show that every 99 minutes, a worker dies from a work-related injury. Workplace injuries are a significant risk for any business, and they definitely lead to such things as costly medical bills, lost productivity, possible large fines, and increased insurance premiums. Employers should always be looking for strategies to implement and improve upon to reduce the number of workplace injuries.

Here are just a few strategies to get you started:
• Regularly examine your workplace for ways to reduce the chance of injury
• Provide regular training to both managers and employees regarding risks for workplace injuries, including ways to reduce or avoid injuries, recognizing workplace risks, ways to mitigate those risks, and how to seek medical attention for you or your fellow employees – training should be done annually and during orientations
• Make sure you have administrative recommendations/requirements to help keep your employees safe, such as shift lengths, limiting overtime, scheduling more breaks, and rotating workers when jobs are physically taxing
• Develop and revisit policies that support good health, safety and injury management, such as the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and training on how to properly use it, workplace safety programs, return-to-work programs, and ergonomic workplace initiatives

NAOSH Week is a great time to revisit those policies, take a field trip around the workplace, chat with your team members on workplace safety ideas, and make a point to focus on ways to prevent workplace injuries and death. Check out Safety and Health Week website for more information and events to participate in.

Tagged in: naosh workplace safety

The COVID-19 pandemic took the world by storm. Under unprecedented circumstances, employers were forced to make decisions that may impact their workforce for years. Skilled leadership took center stage during these tumultuous times. Great leaders thrived.

This session will explore best leadership practices from the pandemic and what employers can glean from this time to lead a workplace forever changed.

Watch Webinar: Webinar: The Workplace After COVID-19 | EHS Today

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We are heading into Spring, better known for those who suffer from seasoning allergies as the season of headaches, sneezing, itchy eyes and skin, as well as congestion. Allergies affect one in five Americans, and studies show allergies significantly impact workplace productivity, with one study reporting that Americans lose 3.5 million workdays each year due to allergies.

While you can’t cure your employees’ allergies, you can help limit the impact of allergens in their workplace. What is an allergy? It’s being hypersensitive to a substance – those who suffer have an overreaction from their immune system to the allergen, which can cause a physical response that outweighs the substance’s harm. There are several varieties of workplace allergens to consider, including:
• Animal dander and debris
• Food
• Industrial chemicals, such as solvents, bleaches and even cleaning products
• Latex
• Perfumes and odorants
• Pollen
• Dust
• Mold
• Wood dust and resins

It’s important for employers and employees to both understand the allergens specific to their workplace, including identifying triggers and best allergy treatment. Making sure work areas are very well-ventilated, have lower humidity to minimize mold and are kept clean and dust-free on a regular basis are great steps to lessening allergens. While it is near to impossible to keep all allergens out of a workplace, here is a list of some common and relatively inexpensive modifications that could improve your workplace health:
• Run the AC system during peak allergy season (do not open windows even though the weather seems perfect, the trees are releasing lots of pollen!)
• Use HEPA air filters – and change them regularly (monthly or more during peak allergy season)
• Make sure your workplace areas are cleaned regularly – and encourage your employees to clean and dusty their workspaces regularly as well
• Identify and repair any water damage – it doesn’t take long for mold to start growing
• Remove carpet and other absorbent materials that are known collectors of allergens
• Provide appropriate protective gear, such as respirators, face shields and gloves, when employees handle industrial chemicals or other irritants

Spring is a great time to jumpstart cleaning, hence the term Spring Cleaning! Keep your most important assets – your employees – as safe and healthy this spring and throughout the rest of the year. And keeping allergens at bay as much as possible is one great way to do just that!

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