Bipartisan proposal seeks to have VPP codified

Well, we have a nice (if rare) showing of bipartisan cooperation happening in the US House of Representatives going on.

Two senators – a Republican and a Democrat – are working together to enact a law that would codify the Voluntary Protection Program, an OSHA-sponsored program that helps acknowledge and reward sites that have gone above and beyond to implement workplace health and safety programs.

The two senators have introduced a “Voluntary Protection Program Act” into the House that would essentially codify the program, making it an actual law. The program itself goes back more than three decades but, though rarely known, is kinda unofficial.

So why do they want this codified into law? Well, they think codifying VPP program will ensure it continues in perpetuity, gets adequate funding, and is expanded to assist small business – a segment it currently underservices. 

The Act, if implemented, would also provide direction … Read more...

Top 5 Farm Safety Tips just in time for Canadian Agricultural Safety Week

Farm safety is a serious concern. Between hazardous farm equipment and sometimes erratic livestock, our frontline producers live in a very dangerous world. However, while farms are one of the most risky places to work, farm safety doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. That’s part of the reason the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) is currently facilitating the 2013 Canadian Agricultural Safety Week.

It’s worth highlighting the vast importance of safety in this hazardous field. After all, though 85% of producers say that safety is a priority on their farms, less than 10% actually have a documented safety plan onsite, according to the Canadian Federation of Agriculture.

Also, we have to consider the fact that while farms do rely on a lot of transient, seasonal help, the nucleus of operations on farms is often represented by a tightly knit family. So while occupational injury and illness is never a … Read more...

OSHA is doing a poor job at measuring effectiveness of enforcement efforts: GAO report

So, is OSHA actually effective when it comes to enforcing health and safety regulations? Is OSHA even effective at measuring whether its enforcement efforts are actually, well, effective?

They’re questions worth asking, and they’re questions tackled head-on in a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. The review was conducted after congressional committees on workplace protections called for a review of OSHA enforcement efforts following a 2011 Department of Labour report that found OSHA wasn’t even capable of measuring the effects of its own enforcement efforts. 

Some notable findings in the report:

  • OSHA fails to look at key outcomes of enforcement efforts – things like fatalities and injuries  and instead relies on citations, violations and fines as metrics on enforcement efficacy. 
  • The agency hasn’t really made much of an effort to evaluate the effectiveness of its programs and policies, something OSHA itself admits.
  • OSHA does a poor job of
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Affordable Care Act whistleblower announcement, Lion attack results in investigation, Harlem Shake mining controversy and more on EHS This Week

On this week’s edition of EHS This Week we’ve got the week’s top stories in environment, health and safety news:

  • A lion attack results in an investigation by Cal-OSHA. 
  • The Affordable Care Act (ACA) whistleblower provisions may sideswipe large employers.
  • Harlem Shake video nets some problems for Australian miners and more.

Remember to write us with your suggestions, questions and comments at paul@ehsthisweek.com. Also, if you are an industry expert and ever want to take part in the program, we’d love to have you. 

Until next week, enjoy the program!

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OSHA’s been a great asset in the fight for workplace safety…or has it?

Workplace fatalities in the U.S. today are a far cry from what they were back in 1970 when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was founded, so surely America’s top authority on on-the-job safety has had a huge impact. Or has it? Maybe workplace fatalities were on a downward trend and would have reached current levels, OSHA or no OSHA. Sure, some of the administration’s regulations have virtually eliminated diseases. But maybe its inflated budget and reporting requirements are not having a measureable impact on workplace safety and health in any discernable way.

Contemplating these questions, safety training video specialists Compliance and Safety published a thought-provoking infographic that, without  taking a stand, compares the pro-OSHA case against the anti-OSHA case. We’ve embedded it below, but head over to their site for lots of other compelling content.

So, OSHA — boon or bane? What are your thoughts?

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Intelex achieves awards trifecta!

So, we already shared the good news that in late 2012 professional services giant Deloitte named us one of Canada’s 50 fastest-growing technology companies and also one of North America’s 500 fastest-growing tech businesses. Well, we’re proud to announce we’ve got another feather to put in our cap: Deloitte – in combination with CIBC and Queen’s School of Business – has named Intelex one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies, effectively rounding out our ‘Deloitte trifecta’ (as we like to call it) for 2012.

In addition to an array of other accolades that have befallen Canada’s fifth-best employer, Intelex welcomes being included in this prestigious list of the best managed companies across Canada, of any size and in any location. There were 50 new companies to receive the designation this year, in addition to a number of re-certified companies.

Canada’s Best Managed Companies has recognized excellence in Canadian-owned and -managed companies … Read more...

SVEP program off to a ‘strong’ start, report reveals, Fukushima Emergency Workers’ cancer risk, and much more on EHS This Week

On this week’s edition of EHS This Week we’ve got the week’s top stories in environment, health and safety news:

  • The results of an internal review of OSHA’s SVEP program. 
  • Learning from safety inspections of dairy farms and agriculture in general.
  • Japan and China’s differing issues with nuclear power, and more.

Remember to write us with your suggestions, questions and comments at paul@ehsthisweek.com. Also, if you are an industry expert and ever want to take part in the program, we’d love to have you. 

Until next week, enjoy the program!

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Moodys report on water in mining, frontrunners to replace EPA chief suggest climate action and more on EHS This Week

On this week’s edition of EHS This Week we’ve got the week’s top stories in environment, health and safety news:

  • Credit-negative implications for mining industry according to Moodys report. 
  • New candidates in line to become EPA chief in the wake of Lisa Jackson’s resignation.
  • Pew poll cements growing public opinion trend related to support for clean energy and alternative fuels, and more.

Remember to write us with your suggestions, questions and comments at paul@ehsthisweek.com. Also, if you are an industry expert and ever want to take part in the program, we’d love to have you. 

Until next week, enjoy the program!

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OSHA head stays on, climate bill to be tabled and more on EHS This Week

On this week’s edition of EHS This Week we’ve got the week’s top stories in environment, health and safety news:

  • Two OSHA big wigs staying on for President Obama’s second term. 
  • New safety rules for seamen announced.
  • State of the Union address tackles climate just as senators prepare bill, and more.

Remember to write us with your suggestions, questions and comments at paul@ehsthisweek.com. Also, if you are an industry expert and ever want to take part in the program, we’d love to have you. 

Until next week, enjoy the program!

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Wondering what this FSMA stuff is all about? Download our free ebook!

While it seemed indefinitely on the backburner for the better part of the last two years, with recent progress and increased news media attention, it is clear the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) has legs…and is picking up speed!

With two massive, recently released proposed rules released in January, in addition to the enforcement of a few of the Act’s early requirements, FSMA is a reality and it is about to change the face of food safety in America.

So, how prepared are you? Whether you’re pretty familiar with the act or wondering what this FSMA stuff is all about, no worries, we’ve got the solution for you. The Essential Guide to the Food Safety Modernization Act is a free ebook that provides a comprehensive look at where FSMA is at, what it means for business, and what you can do now to prepare for the Act’s incoming requirements.

Head … Read more...