FDA Revamps ‘Import Data Requirements’

Issuing a new federal rule, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released new guidelines, which require that information about an ‘FDA-regulated product… offered for import into the United States’ be submitted online via an Automated Commercial Environment (ACE).

The new guidelines take effect December 29, 2016.

Apart from these import standards, the new FDA rule also revises certain sections of FDA regulations in order to lead to an efficient use of FDA and importer resources and help effectively enforce FDA laws and regulations.

View the FDA press release and learn more about the new rule.

OSHA Updates Guidelines for Safety and Health Programs

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has updated its Guidelines for Safety and Health Programs, which are designed to help organizations create their own workplace safety and health initiatives.

According to an OSHA dedicated webpage, such safety and health programs aim to prevent workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths, as well as the suffering and financial hardship these events can cause for workers, their families, and employers.

The new guidelines involve fresh recommended practices in the following areas:

  • Management leadership
  • Worker participation
  • Hazard identification and assessment
  • Hazard prevention and control
  • Education and training
  • Program evaluation and improvement
  • Communication and coordination for host employers, contractors, and staffing agencies.

Applicable to small and medium-sized businesses, these recommended practices present a step-by-step approach to implementing a safety and health program.

Learn more about updates and download the recommended practices.

Countdown to First National Traffic Incident Response Week

Last month, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and related agencies and partners began a year-long countdown that will lead to the First National Traffic Incident Response Week, which will be held November 13-17, 2017.

The project is part of an effort to reduce highway fatalities, which reached over 35,000 in 2015 alone, and to promote educated and responsible behavior on U.S. roads.

Over the next 300+ days, the FHWA, first responders, and other organizations will launch various initiatives to lay the groundwork.

The target is that by November 2017, responders, community leaders and preparedness organizations will have used the week to prepare drivers and their local public safety professionals to take safe actions and prevent responder, driver, or passenger deaths.

Read the press release to learn more.

Fatalities From Trench Collapse Double from 2015 to 2016

“Nationwide, trench deaths have more than doubled since 2015,” says Howard Eberts, OSHA’s Area Director in Cleveland, Ohio.

Furthermore, according to OSHA, 23 workers have been killed in trench collapses since January 2016, while 13 have been injured as of last November. One incident had a worker buried in around 14,000 pounds of dirt before he was fortunately and quickly rescued.

In the midst of this trend, OSHA is reiterating its trenching standards and urging excavating companies to re-examine their safety procedures to ensure they are taking all available precautions.

Read more about the latest statistics.

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OSHA Issues Final Rule on Walking-Working Surfaces Standards

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published a final rule that updates its general industry Walking-Working Surfaces Standards. It now includes a new section under the general industry Personal Protective Equipment standards that establishes employer requirements for using personal fall protection systems.

The section now permits employers to select the fall protection system that works best for them and use rope descent systems up to 300 feet above a lower level. It also bans body belts as a component in a personal fall arrest system, and mandates training on personal fall protection systems and fall equipment.

The update addresses and helps prevent fall hazards, which are a leading cause of worker deaths and injuries. The new rule takes effect January 17, 2017 and covers about 112 million employees in seven million facilities.

Read the OSHA press release and view the new rule.

MSHA Issues Winter Hazard Alert

Because of the unique dangers posed by and during the winter season, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has released its annual Winter Alert message to remind mining organizations of seasonal changes that may affect both surface and underground work environments. These include underground coal mine explosions, as well as ice and snow that accumulate on surface facilities and preparation plants.

In particular, MSHA highlights the danger of a drop in barometric pressure due to cold weather, which can contribute to the easier migration of methane gas into the mine atmosphere raising the risk of explosion.

Another condition to watch out for is drier underground conditions due to dry winter air. This increases the likelihood of coal dust suspending in the mine’s atmosphere and raises the chance of an explosion. Other hazards to beware of include limited visibility, slippery walkways, and freezing and thawing highwalls.

MSHA urges employers to conduct mine examinations, maintain proper ventilation, and perform rock dusting.

Learn more about MSHA’s Winter Alert.

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