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June 2017 Archives

Nuclear lab's safety record facing criticism

South Carolina workers employed in hazardous jobs may be interested to learn that the safety record at the lab that created the atomic bomb has been facing criticism. According to the Center for Public Integrity, numerous internal reports show that federal regulators have had concerns regarding safety lapses over the last couple of years. Incidents include spilled plutonium and employees positioning plutonium rods in an unsafe way.

Dental practices and OSHA bloodborne exposure standards

Some employees of South Carolina dental practices may be at risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens. An advocacy group known as the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention along with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health carried out a survey of 1,059 people who worked for private dental practices around the country to find out if standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration were being used. Among those surveyed were dental hygienists, dentists and other staff.

Trucking case declined hearing by Supreme Court

Commercial truck drivers in South Carolina should be aware that the United States Supreme Court refused to hear a class-action lawsuit against the United States Department of Transportation and the Pre-Employment Screening Program. The six truck drivers who filed the lawsuit with the assistance of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association claim that the U.S. DOT and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration provide too much information about the violation histories of drivers to potential employers.

New CDL rules go into effect

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is responsible for ensuring that the nation's commercial vehicles are safe and properly maintained, and the federal safety agency also establishes the requirements for obtaining commercial driver's licenses in South Carolina and around the country. The FMCSA proposed changes to these rules in 2015, and the revised regulations were finally implemented on June 5. The rules were scheduled to be rolled out in early 2017, but a regulatory review ordered by the Trump Administration caused a further delay lasting five months.

Limited experience in fatal coal mining accidents

South Carolina workers might be interested to learn that the total number of coal mining fatalities in 2016 was at an all-time low of eight. As of June 8, 2017, seven coal miners have died in 2017, and almost all of them had under a year of experience at the mine and at the job they were doing. Six of the workers had been at the mine for less than a year. Five of them had been at the particular job they were doing at the time of their death for under a year.

International Roadcheck to focus on cargo safety in 2017

Truck drivers in South Carolina and around the country may wish to check their loads are properly secured before taking to the roads during International Roadcheck. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has announced that cargo safety will be the focus of this year's 72-hour-long safety initiative, and trucks with loose, damaged or missing cargo tie-downs are likely to be ordered out of service by inspectors.

Supreme Court makes sleep apnea tests more likely

A Supreme Court ruling may make it easier for trucking companies to ask drivers in South Carolina and elsewhere to submit to sleep apnea testing. The court ruled against a driver for Crete Carrier Corp. saying that they didn't violate his rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The man said that he was fired after refusing to take sleep apnea tests. His lawsuit claimed that he was only asked to take the test because of his BMI.

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