As the week begins the nation honors the memory of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Labelmaster family joins all Americans in recognizing the gigantic importance of Dr. King’s work and his lasting legacy. Mid-January finds the nation finished with the winter holidays and struggling with the inevitable resulting surge in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Many businesses are currently under pressure from large rates of absenteeism due to illness. As such, it’s important for the HS&E professional community to be extra vigilant. Many workers may be performing overtime or trying to cover multiple work positions, some of which they may not be as familiar with, to keep up with labor demands created by worker shortages. Let’s all be sure to get out into our active workspaces and do our best to help ensure that no one working gets injured because of the extra pressures that everyone is trying to cope with right now. It was a busy period on the regulatory front; here’s the latest news:
The agency published its latest set of Special Permit actions, covering what we’ve come to expect as the “usual suspects” of batteries, cylinders, portable tanks, and so forth. See the relevant announcements at the links below:
The agency also published an ICR related to data from shippers of rail tank cars carrying petroleum products. The ICR is intended to assist PHMSA in monitoring safety in this sector. See the ICR here.
In news virtually everyone is probably already well aware of, the US Supreme Court invalidated the agency’s emergency rule mandating COVID vaccinations or weekly testing of non-vaccinated employees for employers having more than 100 employees. The Court did uphold the requirements for vaccinations for employees of health care providers. See news about these decisions.
The agency also issued an ICR related to its On-Site Consultation Program. This program is intended to assist businesses improve their ability to comply with relevant OSHA rules affecting their operations. See the ICR here.
Civil Penalty Adjustments
A variety of federal agencies published adjustments to their civil penalty fee amounts this week. The adjustments are intended to account for annual inflation. Find links to relevant agency announcements below:
On September 10, 2020, FMCSA proposed a pilot program to allow persons ages 18, 19, and 20 to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce. That pilot was never implemented. However, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which was signed into law on November 15, 2021, requires FMCSA to establish a pilot program that would allow employers to establish an apprenticeship program for certain 18-, 19-, and 20-year-old drivers to operate commercial vehicles in interstate commerce. This notice addresses the comments received on the September 10, 2020, notice and provides the details on the establishment of the Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program required by the IIJA. See more information here.
The agency published an ICR designed to evaluate noise levels related to rail operations and its impact on both employees and local communities. See the ICR here.
The Ministry published its 2021 Dangerous Goods Newsletter. This annual publication reviews the ministry’s actions and plans from the year just completed. See the new edition here.
The ministry also published a guide to reporting dangerous goods incidents. The guide is intend to help stakeholders comply with the relevant requirements of the TDGR; however, the ministry cautions that the guide itself bears no force of law. See it here.
Labelmaster is a full-service provider of products, shipping and training software, and professional consulting services to assist the DG and HS&E professional to comply with national and international regulations. See our full line of solutions at www.labelmaster.com.