March 15, 2012 / Volume 10, Number 6
Cars that Curb Distracted Driving?
ASSE to OSHA: Cut the PEL for Noise
Get Safety Going
The OSHA-SCHC Alliance: What to Expect
OSHA Head to Oversee Whistleblower Protection
March Mania is Going on Now
Cars that Curb Distracted Driving?
"Distraction" guidelines for automakers get into gear.

The next car you drive may limit your risk for distracted driving. The U.S. Department of Transportation has proposed groundbreaking federal guidelines in which next-generation cars incorporate "in-vehicle electronic devices" that help reduce distracted driving.

The guidelines refer to devices not essential to safe driving: communications, information gathering, entertainment, navigation, etc.

The proposal, launched by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), has three planned phases. Phase 1 deals with devices installed in the vehicle and urges car makers to develop systems or devices that:
  • Reduce complexity and task length required by the device
  • Limit device operation to one hand only
  • Limit individual off-road glances required for device operation to no more than two seconds in duration
  • Limit unnecessary visual information in the driver's field of view
  • Limit the amount of manual inputs required for device operation.
Phase 1 also suggests the disabling of certain tasks – visual-manual texting, internet browsing, navigation system input, dialing 10-digit numbers, etc. – except in special circumstances.

Phase 2 will deal with aftermarket and portable devices, while Phase 3 plans "voice-activated controls" for car equipment.

The Phase 1 guidelines, which cover light vehicles, are the first of many planned DOT "guidance documents" that will help address distracted driving.

Read the guidelines in the Federal Register. Comments on the proposal must be received by April 24, 2012.
ASSE to OSHA: Cut the PEL for Noise
Part of ongoing safety standards review.

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) has called for a lower permissible exposure limit (PEL) for noise, from 90 to 85 decibels (dBA) in an eight-hour work day.

According to an ASSE press release, ASSE President Terrie Norris wrote to OSHA head Dr. David Michaels, saying that the reduction would be safer for workers and more beneficial to hearing conservation.

She explained that engineering controls, required under current OSHA standards, can be costly and unattainable. Lowering the noise PEL would help prevent these additional costs and generate overall gains.

The lower PEL is already a widely accepted practice among ASSE members, added Norris. She also recommended that the dBA exchange rate be cut to 3 dBA from 5 dBA.

Similar suggestions were made in November 2011 during a stakeholder meeting on Preventing Occupational Hearing Loss. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) also supports a lower PEL.

OSHA is currently reviewing its Occupational Noise Exposure standard.

Visit the OSHA webpage on the standard for more information.
Read the ASSE press release.

Get Safety Going
STOP™ For Ergonomics

Raising awareness of ergonomic incidents and lost-time injuries is challenging in today's work environments. If proper ergonomic safety is not a regular practice in the workplace, neither managers nor employees have a path toward correcting the negative impact that work-related stressors – like repetitive motion, vibration and poor posture – have on performance and production.

Even in high-impact industries, STOP™ For Ergonomics prepares participants for making ergonomic observations and identifying ergonomic issues in the workplace. Through ergonomic safety audits and peer-to-peer communication, these observations are key to implementing safe ergonomic practices that improve performance.

STOP™ For Ergonomics concepts include:
  • Complete prevention. All ergonomic injuries can be prevented.
  • Safety in numbers. Ergonomic safety is everyone's responsibility.
  • We depend on each other. Peers rely on themselves and each other to prevent injuries and address issues.
Learn more about DuPont™ STOP™ at a FREE one-hour overview webinar.
Or, attend a STOP™ workshop in a city near you!

Copyright ® 2012 Coastal Training Technologies Corp. All rights reserved. The DuPont Oval Logo, DuPont™,The miracles of science™ and all products denoted with ® or ™ are registered trademarks or trademarks of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company or its affiliates.

Call 877-714-2324 to learn how to get safety going in your organization.

Join us for a FREE one-hour overview webinar!

Attend a one-day STOP™ workshop in your area
The OSHA-SCHC Alliance: What to Expect
Enhancing chemical safety awareness.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Society for Chemical Hazard Communication (SCHS) have renewed their alliance. The two-year partnership will give stakeholders a chance to take part in rulemaking processes.

OSHA and SCHC plan to help educate the public on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) and present best practices for chemical handling at industry gatherings, conferences and webinars.

Over 32 million employees are at risk from 650,000 dangerous chemical products in the United States, according to OSHA. About 500 chemical hazard communication professionals are represented by the SCHC.

Read the press release.

OSHA Head to Oversee Whistleblower Protection
Signals elevation of priority.

The Office of the Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will now directly handle the Office of the Whistleblower Protection Program.

The change represents "continuing efforts to strengthen employees' voice in the workplace," according to OSHA head David Michaels.

OSHA enforces 21 whistleblower provisions, which protect employees who report alleged workplace violations in several industries.

The restructuring was first announced August 2011, and is part of OSHA's budget for fiscal year 2012. Apart from management change, OSHA has also initiated "pilot projects" in 10 field regions to enhance the whistleblower program.

Read the press release.
Read more about the whistleblower program.

March Mania is Going on Now
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Volume 10, Number 6
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Copyright © 2012 Coastal Training Technologies Corp. All rights reserved. The DuPont Oval Logo, DuPont™,The miracles of science™ and all products denoted with ® or ™ are registered trademarks or trademarks of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company or its affiliates.

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