DG Digest: OSHA’s Interest in Benzene, PHMSA Guidance to Firework Makers, and FRA Lists Most Dangerous Crossings


April showers bring May flowers—and a new list from the FRA noting the most hazardous rail/highway grade crossings in the country. Here an Amtrak “Cascade Service” train to Portland from Seattle roars over a road crossing in the pouring April rain in Kent, Washington on April 24th, 2016. Image © 4/2016 by Nikki Burgess; all rights reserved.

It’s the last week of April already!  Hope everyone is thinking spring by now.  Here the latest’s news of note in the worlds of Dangerous Goods and EH&S:


  • OSHA released a new information collection request in reference to Benzene, a common industrial chemical used in many applications but that has hazardous qualities that make it a subject of OSHA’s special interest. Here’s the request 
  • OSHA also announced that this year’s national Construction Safety Stand-down will be during the week of May 2nd – 9th. OSHA uses the event each year to promote relevant safety practices in the construction industry, which sees peak service in the warm months, especially in the residential sector.  Falls are a big part of the injury rate in that workplace model.  Here’s the link to OSHA’s special website for the stand-down, with resources for employers who wish to participate


  • PHMSA released guidance to fireworks manufacturers, principally noting that they may retain more than one agent in the United States. Here’s the details 
  • PHMSA also released a slight correction to the table listing for Phenylmercuric compounds, N.O.S. in the 49 CFR 172.101. The action adds the requirement for listing of a technical name.  See the notice here


  • FMCSA announced its new “Beyond Compliance” program, which seeks to encourage motor carriers to go beyond the minimum requirements of the regulations and become active partners with FMCSA in establishing higher quality safety programs for equipment and drivers. In return, the carriers may see benefits related to inspection levels and enforcement activity.  The program is the result of legislation passed under the so-called “FAST Act” which helps govern US transportation funding and regulatory enforcement.  Here’s the link for more information


  • Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the lawnmower—USEPA issued a new information collection request related to manufacturers of portable gasoline canisters—the type used all over the country to refuel things like lawnmowers, snowblowers, and other small portable gasoline operated work savers. The canisters face higher levels of safety regulations and related reporting requirements.  Find out more


  • The US/Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council (UCRCC) announced a stakeholder meeting to be held in the Canadian Embassy in Washington DC on May 4th and 5th. The council, as its name implies, seeks to ease trade and other cross border regulated issues through cooperative efforts between the relevant governments.  Interested parties can find out more and even how to attend the meetings here


  • The FRA released its list of “Most Dangerous Railroad/Highway Grade Crossings.” The list features the top fifteen places where highways and railroads have crossed paths with unfortunate and even tragic results over the last year.  Interestingly, five of the top fifteen crossings are in the Phoenix, Arizona area this year; not a place especially known as a railroad hot spot—usually the province of states like Illinois, Texas, and Pennsylvania.  Find out more about the list, and what FRA is doing to improve conditions at those crossings, right here

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