PHMSA has proposed updates to the requirements for drug and alcohol testing of employees after an accident/incident. The revised and new language in the OQ NPRM limits exemptions from post-accident/incident testing only to situations when sufficient information exists to establish that the employee(s) had no role in the accident/incident. The additional language will also require operators to document specific reasons to justify why testing was not administered and to retain such documentation for at least three years. The current PHMSA regulations require documentation of decisions not to administer a post-accident alcohol test, however, documentation for decisions not to conduct a post-accident drug test is only implied in the regulation, although it is generally followed. PHMSA’s move to expand and clarify the language for post-accident/incident drug and alcohol testing stems from the National Transportation Safety Boards (NTSB) safety recommendation to PHMSA on September 26, 2011, via NTSB Recommendation. CURRENT PHMSA REGULATIONS 199.105 Drug tests required. Each operator shall conduct the following drug tests for the presence of a prohibited drug: (b) Post-accident testing. As soon as possible but no later than 32 hours after an accident, an operator shall drug test each employee whose performance either contributed to the accident or […]
On May 1, 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration released a Final Rule addressing Confined Spaces in Construction (29 CFR Part 1926). This new subpart will be a comprehensive standard comprised of a permit program aimed at protecting employees from associated work hazards in confined spaces, such as atmospheric and physical. Furthermore, the Final Rule includes ΓÇ£several provisions addressing construction-specific hazards, accounts for advancements in technology, and improves enforceability of the requirements.ΓÇ¥ The new comprehensive subpart standard will replace OSHAΓÇÖs one training requirement for confined spaces. Confined spaces present a number of atmospheric and physical challenges that can be life-threatening if not addressed. Such challenges include limited or difficult exit points in case of emergency, exposure to toxic substances, electrocutions, explosions, and asphyxiation. OSHAΓÇÖs Confined Space in Construction Final Rule considers such hazardous conditions and is written with an emphasis on training and communication for the employees to save and protect lives and property. U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The department’s Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 […]
For the last few weeks, we have held a water drive for local fire departments here at EWN. ┬áWe are reaching the time of the summer when there are constant grass fires and long days for these folks and the least we can do is keep them hydrated. ┬áWe are so proud of our EWN team, with close to 40 cases donated, we are filling up all the local fire departments & volunteer fire departments as well. ┬áEWN has also matched the donations from employees with donations to local fire departments for equipment or other needs.
Organizations have changing needs, including safety needs. According to EHS Today, ΓÇ£the need for strategic change in safety is ambushing many organizations in today’s climate. Many organizations fail to realize in a timely manner that changing workforces require changing safety efforts.ΓÇ¥ Every year, specific employee dynamics change within an organization. New employees are hired. Seasoned employees choose retirement. As this process occurs, the commonly shared knowledge of safety procedures and expected safety behaviors can be lost or become ineffective in meeting the current needs of the ever-changing organizational dynamics. Overall workplace accidents can increase without a seemingly rational explanation. When increased accidents begin, the safety team or department become reactive and begin to search for solutions to solve the present problems. This can lead to a stream of spontaneous changes to correct unsafe conditions as they arise. However, a proactive and strategic safety program approach would evolve with the organization allowing for productive growth in the safest working environment possible. As we begin a new year and all other areas for strategic planning are being considered, a strategic safety plan can be developed outlining the organizationΓÇÖs goal definition of successful safety conditions. Revisit the current safety program and assess the […]