DG Digest: From OSHA’s “Flashpoint” Definition to FRA’s Quiet Zones

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) seeks input on so-called “Quiet Zones” at highway grade crossings to reduce noise without compromising safety. A BNSF train sounds its horns as it crosses a road in Kent, Washington on March 5th, 2016. (© 3/2016) by Nikki Burgess; all rights reserved.)

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) seeks input on so-called “Quiet Zones” at highway grade crossings to reduce noise without compromising safety. A BNSF train sounds its horns as it crosses a road in Kent, Washington on March 5th, 2016. (© 3/2016) by Nikki Burgess; all rights reserved.)

Another eventful week on the DG/Transport Scene!


  • OSHA issued a revised definition of “Flashpoint,” correcting a CFR omission in its most recent iteration of the 29 CFR.
  • OSHA has partnered with the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) to create a new informational website which offers greatly enhanced safety guidance for users of aerial lift machines—a common tool used in industry. Users interested in learning about the new tools on the site can check here
  • OSHA announced new and revised information collection requirements dealing with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Job Hazard Analysis (JHA), and Walking and Working Surfaces. OSHA uses such information to help montiro the effectiveness of rules and to determine any need for further actions. PPE collection requirements. Walking and Working.


  • USEPA announced the second meeting is it holding regarding the new wave of bioengineered and biotechnology based products that are rapidly entering the American economy. Like any new technology, regulation lags introduction.  Care to see what EPA is thinking and have your say?  Here’s the link
  • EPA published its periodical list of Federal Hazardous Waste Storage and Handling sites; the guide is useful to the general public in determining “who has what, where” on a national government level in this carefully regulated business. See the new guide here
  • In EPA chemical action, the agency published new risk analysis information about 1-Bromopropane (1-BP), a chemical often used in spray adhesives, cleaners, degreasing formulas, and other similar products. The info alleges a host of potential health problems that could be related, depending on exposures and the health of the person exposed.  EPA also released stringent new guidelines regarding use, storage and handling of the well-known pesticide Paraquat.  Paraquat, famous for its use in marijuana eradication, is difficult to handle safely and is at the heart of more than its share of pesticide related exposure illness incidents.  1-Bromopropane action. Paraquat guidlines

DOT and eCigs

  • In a press release, USDOT announced its intention to publish a direct final rule explicitly banning the use of so-called “E-Cigarettes” aboard commercial flights. The current rule banning smoking does not address the new technology specifically.  However, carriers have already acted en masse in this area, and the devices are currently banned from use almost universally already due to carrier action.  Later in the week, the rule itself appeared.  For info on the DOT front, click here.


  • Stood in an airport security line lately? FAA is working to shorten your wait.  The agency released a new rule allowing the TSA to use more advanced imaging equipment to help them screen more passengers faster, and with greater effectiveness.  More here.


  • The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released a proposed rulemaking offering comprehensive regulatory structure designed to formalize and enhance training requirements for commercial vehicle drivers (so-called CMV’s). The new rule is designed to address what in some cases is a hodge-podge of state requirements that often leave interstate carriers scrambling to determine how to comply with whom, depending on their trip plans.  While rules like this may cause some initial extra work, they often end up serving the industry well as whole, eliminating confusion and offering a common set of requirements to everyone.  Want to have a look, or have your say?  Here’s the link.
  • In another FMCSA action, the agency released a new definition of “High-Risk Motor Carrier,” and offered new guidelines for the investigation and regulatory treatment of those carriers so defined. Here’s your way in


  • The Federal Railroad Administration hears those locomotive horns too! FRA has released a new information collection urging affected communities to submit their data regarding the need for, design of, and modifications to, so-called “Quiet Zones.”  Quiet Zones are road/rail grade crossing locations where heavy train traffic had previously caused what local officials considered to be excessively frequent sounding of locomotive horns.  Such horn use is mandated by regulation at any crossing not protected under “Quiet Zone” designation.  The new collection will be used to further define the exact technology and safety specifications for such zones issued by federal regulators; this in an effort to allow further use of this designation by communities if they meet the necessary requirements.  Here’s your story.
  • Last but not least: FRA also issued its new quarterly information collection request based on the now-ongoing Positive Train Control system installation effort on American railroads. This after the 12/31/2015 mandated completion was extended to 12/31/2018 to accommodate the drastic efforts required by carriers to complete such a vast network.  FRA is keeping a close eye on progress.

For more information about these regulatory updates, please contact Nikki Burgess, Labelmaster’s staff regulatory specialist.

Labelmaster is a full service provider of goods and services for the Hazardous Materials and Dangerous Goods professional, shippers, transport operators, and EH&S providers. See our full line of solutions at www.labelmaster.com.



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