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November 18, 2015

November 2015 Workplace Safety News and Notes

FDA Finalizes New Food Safety Rules

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Nov. 13 finalized more rules to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The Produce Safety rule establishes for the first time enforceable safety standards for produce farms and holds importers accountable for verifying that imported food meets U.S. safety standards. So far, FDA has finalized five of the seven major rules that implement the core of FSMA. Read more at the FDA.

NIOSH Small Business Resource Guide

Do you own or manage a business? The NIOSH Small Business Resource Guide provides plans, tools, tips, and information from across the web on how to keep your workers safe and well from job-related injury and illness while managing time and cost investments. This guide is intended to help small business owners, employers and managers. Learn more.

OH&S Safety Webinars in December

  • Stay Ahead of GHS, December 2. How to achieve and maintain compliance with chemical labeling, ongoing employee training and SDS management.
  • Electrical Compliance & NFPA 70E Updates, December 3. Will cover the recent updates and changes from NFPA 70E as well as offer some education on what we need to be doing within our facilities to stay compliant from an electrical safety perspective.
  • Fire Retardant Garments: New research uncovers that fabric choice can be the most important factor, December 8. What fabric characteristics are the most important? What tradeoffs are wearers willing to make?
Learn more and register here.

Drivers Still Distracted for Half a Minute After Using Hands-free Devices

New hands-free technologies can mentally distract drivers even if their eyes are on the road and their hands are on the wheel, according to new research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Researchers found potentially unsafe mental distractions can persist for as long as 27 seconds after dialing, changing music or sending a text using voice commands. Performance varied greatly depending on the hands-free system in use. Read more on the report and view data.

OSHA Seeks Public Comment on Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines

First published in 1989, the guidelines are being updated to reflect modern technology and practices. These guidelines are intended to help employers establish health and safety management plans at their workplaces. Key principles include finding and fixing hazards before they cause injury or illness, and making sure that workers have a voice in safety and health. Comments will be accepted until Feb. 15, 2016. Review the draft document.

James Bond: 50 Years of Workplace Hazards

If you're a James Bond fan, you'll enjoy this humorous post on the NIOSH Science Blog that outlines many of the workplace hazards 007 has endured and overcome over the years. For example, Bond employed the effective method of “substitution” in the hierarchy of controls when he convinced his lady friend to replace nerve gas with a harmless substance in "Goldfinger". It's a fun read, and quite timely given the latest Bond film release. Check it out.

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