Beryllium Rule Delayed Again

After being pushed back a few weeks ago, the effective date for a new beryllium rule may be delayed again following a call for further review.

The U.S. Department of Labor announced a “proposed delay” of the Occupational Exposure to Beryllium rule on March 1. The rule’s effective date would be pushed back from March 21, 2017, to May 20, 2017.

The delay will allow the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to comply with a presidential directive “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review.” OSHA, while reviewing the beryllium rule, decided it needed more time to fully review the regulation, so it has proposed this additional delay.

The delay of the effective date will also not affect the compliance dates of the beryllium rule, according to OSHA. The public can submit comments about the proposed delay at www.regulations.gov or to the OSHA Docket Office (Docket No. OSHA-H005C-2006-0870).

According to OSHA, beryllium is a lightweight but strong metal used in many industries, including aerospace, medical, electronics, defense, and telecommunications. But beryllium is highly toxic, and workers who inhale it are at a higher risk of developing chronic beryllium disease or lung cancer.

The new beryllium rule, which has standards for construction, general industry, and shipyards, will decrease the permissible exposure limit of beryllium to an average of 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter of air over 8 hours. A new short-term exposure limit was established at 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter of air over a 15-minute sampling period.

Once the new regulations are fully implemented, OSHA estimates  that 94 lives will be saved each year and 46 new cases of chronic beryllium disease will be prevented. The rule will also provide an estimated $560.9 million in annual net benefits. About 62,000 workers are exposed to beryllium on the job.

Watch our blog and social media channels to stay updated on any new developments for the beryllium rule.

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OSHA Delays Beryllium Rule to Comply with Presidential Directive

In order to comply with a directive from President Donald Trump’s administration, the effective date for a new beryllium rule has been delayed to March 21, 2017.

The 11 day delay stems from the presidential directive called “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review,” which is designed to allow Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials more time to review the beryllium regulation. The new rule was published on January 9, 2017.

According to OSHA, beryllium is a lightweight but strong metal used in many industries, including aerospace, medical, electronics, defense, and telecommunications. But beryllium is highly toxic, and workers who inhale it are at a higher risk of developing chronic beryllium disease or lung cancer.

The new beryllium rule, which has standards for construction, general industry, and shipyards, will decrease the permissible exposure limit of beryllium to an average of 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter of air over 8 hours. A new short-term exposure limit was established at 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter of air over a 15-minute sampling period.

Once the new regulations are fully implemented, OSHA estimates  that 94 lives will be saved each year and 46 new cases of chronic beryllium disease will be prevented. The rule will also provide an estimated $560.9 million in annual net benefits. About 62,000 workers are exposed to beryllium on the job.

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Don’t forget the 2017 Drug Free Safety Program deadline!

The end of January is fast approaching, and the 2017 Drug Free Safety Program deadline for the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation will be here before you know it! Private employers have until March 31 to complete all drug testing and training of both workers and supervisors.

SCT is here to help! Check out our video to see how SCT helps your company install a 2017 Drug Free Safety Program that benefits the safety of your workers and your company’s bottom line.

We have upcoming open enrollment Drug Free Workplace training classes for workers and supervisors on Friday, January 27, and Friday, February 24! The one-hour worker training is $20, and the two-hour supervisor training is $40. View our full slate of open enrollment training courses here.

Can’t make your schedule work with our open enrollment classes? We’ll happily come to you with our state of the art mobile testing/training unit.

Schedule a training today by giving us a call at 1-800-204-1729.

National Influenza Vaccination Week

Today begins National Influenza Vaccination week, meaning there’s no better time to protect yourself from the flu.

Even though the holiday season is almost upon us, the Centers for Disease Control says it’s not too late to get your flu shot. The flu season may typically start in October, but flu activity is usually highest between December and February.

While many people can shake off the flu without any long-lasting damage, the virus can sometimes cause serious problems or even death.

Prevent the flu by getting your flu shot today at SCT!

The flu causes hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands or tens of thousands of deaths each year in the United States. Moreover, about 100 children die each year from the flu, according to the CDC.

At SCT, our trained and professional staff can give you a flu shot for just $25 – no appointment or insurance is needed. Just stop by 6993 Pearl Road in Middleburg Heights to protect yourself for the entire flu season. You can also call us at 1-800-204-1729.

If you want to ensure your all your employees are vaccinated, we can also bring our brand new, state of the art mobile medical vehicle to your location. Having employees vaccinated gives them the best chance to avoid the flu this year, keeping your business productive and efficient.

Watch our video to learn more about the importance of flu vaccines.

Now is also the time to think about starting training and testing for the Ohio BWC Drug Free Safety Program, which has a deadline for all training and testing at the end of March 2017. Schedule your training today or sign up for one of our open enrollment courses scheduled in either January or February.

Make National Influenza Vaccination Week a success, get your flu shot today!

Tour SCT’s new mobile medical van!

Tour SCT’s new mobile medical van with President Gail Grueser! Delivered back in September 2016, SCT’s Occupational Health Division has been racking up the miles on its new state-of-the-art mobile medical van.

The new van replaced SCT’s old mobile unit and includes some serious upgrades. The new van has two bathrooms available for drug test collection, and an audiometric testing booth for hearing tests. The new unit also boasts ample space for health screenings, like blood pressure and flu shots.

SCT invests in mobile units because we want occupational health to be easily available to our clients. By taking our services to clients, they don’t have to stop a work day completely in order to send staff out to a different location.

Watch the video to quickly tour SCT’s new mobile medical van with SCT President Gail Grueser. Don’t forget the Ohio BWC’s Drug-Free Safety Program requires testing and training to be completed by the end of March for eligible public entities. Schedule your training and testing today with SCT!

As always, contact SCT with all your occupational health and safety needs at 1-800-204-1729.

Drowsy Driving Prevention Week: Nov. 6-13

Most will agree that it’s hard to get everything done in a day. From working full time, to keeping up with the kids and cooking meals, there is barely anytime to sleep.

However, adults need at least seven to eight hours a day to be fully rested. Even missing one hour of sleep can cause an individual to be less focused while on the job. This lack of focus is often carried over while operating a motor vehicle, frequently resulting in falling asleep behind the wheel.

Yearly, 6,400 deaths have been attributed to driving while drowsy. To raise awareness to this issue, the National Sleep Foundation has declared November 6-13 “Drowsy Driving Prevention Week”.

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During the past 2 weeks more than seven million people say that have fallen asleep while driving, according to EHS Today. That’s more than 3% of the U.S population.

A report released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety in 2014 concluded that drowsy drivers were involved in an estimated 21% of fatal crashes. Drivers who work the night shift, work multiple jobs, or have irregular work schedules are at increased risk for motor vehicle crashes caused by drowsy driving. These groups are also more likely to report sleeping less than 7 hours per day. Moreover, 70% of night shift workers in the transportation and warehousing industry reported less than 7 hours of sleep per night, compared with 30% of all adult U.S. workers.

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) stresses the importance of getting a full night’s rest. While driving, if you feel you are unable to stay awake, pull over and rest! If planning a long trip, drink caffeine and take rest breaks every 100 miles. When driving drowsy, you are endangering your own life and the lives of others on the road.

Here are some tips to get a good night’s rest from NHLBI:

-Stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.

-Avoid caffeine and nicotine.

-Don’t exercise too late in the day.

-Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed.

-Avoid large meals and beverages late at night.

-Don’t take a nap after 3 p.m.

-Relax before bed. For example, take a hot bath.

-Create a good sleeping environment. Get rid of distractions such as noises, bright lights, an uncomfortable bed or a TV or computer in the bedroom.

-See a doctor if you have continued trouble sleeping.

October is Healthy Lung Month

More people die in the United States from lung cancer than any other type of cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). October is Healthy Lung Month, so it’s a great time to ensure you’re doing all you can to protect your lungs from harm. At SCT, we offer numerous training courses and other services that will help protect your lungs, even in high-risk work environments.

Two common causes of lung problems in workers are asbestos and silica.

Asbestos can cause numerous lung problems, including asbestosis and mesothelioma, both of which are chronic and often deadly conditions. According to the World Health Organization, more than 107,000 people die each year from asbestos-related lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis resulting from occupational exposures. One in three deaths from occupational cancer is caused by asbestos.

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SCT’s Asbestos Awareness training course is required by OSHA for workers who may come into contact with asbestos, but will not disturb it. Our experts will teach you how to work safely in environments with the harmful substance.

SCT also offers a Silica Awareness training course that will get workers up to speed with OSHA’s new silica standard. Breathing in silica dust can cause silicosis, a chronic breathing ailment that has no cure. The new silica standard is designed to curb silicosis, and will prevent an estimated 900 new cases of silicosis each year, according to OSHA.

Both the silica and asbestos awareness classes also come with a respirator fit testing evaluation performed by trained Occupational Health & Safety professionals. A proper-fitting respirator, which is required for about 5 million workers nationwide, can provide life-saving protection against harmful chemicals, dusts, vapors and other hazards in high-risk work environments.

Click here to view our upcoming schedule for Asbestos and Silica Awareness classes.

And as is well known, smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer. It’s linked to about 80%-90% of lung cancer cases in the U.S., per the CDC. At SCT, we can help design a Drug Free Workplace Program for your company, and perform regular and random drug testing, including for nicotine.

Contact us today at 1-800-204-1729 to schedule a customized safety training course or learn the many other ways we can help your business become a safe, healthy, and productive place to work.

Flu Vaccines are in!

SCT has received our first batch of flu vaccinations! Head over to our Middleburg Heights location or call 1-800-204-1729 to schedule an appointment.

Watch our newest Safety Minute Update “Fighting the Flu” to learn the importance of receiving the flu vaccine this season. Protect not only yourself, but your co-workers, friends, and family as well.