FMCSA SAYS ROADSIDE INSPECTIONS SAVES THOUSANDS OF LIVES
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released an annual analysis that estimates that commercial vehicle roadside safety
inspection and traffic enforcement programs saved 472 lives in 2012. Since 2001, the agency says the programs have saved more than 7,000 lives.
FMCSA's annual Roadside Intervention Effectiveness Model (RIEM) analysis estimates, these life-saving safety programs also prevented nearly 9,000 injuries from more than 14,000 crashes involving large commercial trucks and buses.
Annually, more than 3.5 million such inspections are conducted. Commercial vehicles that fail inspection are immediately placed out-of-service and not allowed to potentially endanger the lives of the drivers and of the motoring public. Similarly, commercial drivers who are not compliant with critical safety requirements are also immediately placed out-of-service and not allowed to continue driving.
The vast majority of these roadside safety inspections are conducted by the states, which receive annual grant support from FMCSA through its Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) for State commercial motor vehicle safety program activities, including roadside inspections and traffic enforcement.
Roadside inspections adhere to North American Standard (NAS) protocols, which, in close collaboration with Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), are regularly updated. FMCSA's National Training Center (NTC), in coordination with CVSA, conducts frequent inspector training programs throughout the country to certify new inspectors or allow individuals to obtain expertise in areas such as hazardous materials safety.
The commercial vehicle traffic enforcement program is another safety program that is composed of two distinct activities:
1. A traffic stop by a law enforcement officer as a result of a moving violation, and
2. A subsequent roadside inspection.
FMCSA says the ultimate focus is to change behavior by the carrier and/or the commercial driver to operate in compliance with federal safety regulations leading to a reduction in crashes involving commercial motor vehicles.
Updated app helps workers weather the heat
OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recently redesigned the Heat Safety Tool mobile app. The free app determines heat index values, a measure of how hot it feels to workers, based on temperature combined with humidity.
The app is especially useful for outdoor workers who are exposed to hot and humid conditions, such as construction workers, landscapers, agricultural workers, and others. NIOSH encourages employers and workers to check the app before working outdoors in the summer heat. The app provides information on what precautions to take to stay safe at the worksite.
According to OSHA, more than 65,000 people seek medical attention for extreme heat exposure every year. In 2014, 2,630 workers reported heat-related illnesses, and 18 workers died from heat stroke and related causes.
The updated Heat Safety Tool app uses a mobile phone’s geolocation capabilities to pull temperature and humidity data from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellites. The app then determines the current risk level (minimal, low, moderate, high, or extreme) and forecasts the hourly heat index throughout the workday. Employers can use this information to adjust work schedules and workloads as needed to protect workers.
The app also provides users with specific NIOSH and OSHA recommendations for protective actions based on the calculated risk level, including information on staying cool, proper hydration, and scheduling rest breaks.
Some examples of NIOSH recommendations to protect workers from heat hazards include:
- Limit time in the heat and/or increase recovery time in a cool environment.
- Increase the number of workers per task.
- Train supervisors and workers about heat stress, including symptoms of heat-related illness, first aid, and risk factors.
- Use a buddy system (workers observe each other for signs of heat stress).
- Provide adequate amounts of cool, potable water near the work area and encourage workers to drink frequently.
- Use a heat alert program whenever the weather service forecasts a likely heat wave.
- Develop a plan to acclimatize workers to hot weather and to increase physical fitness.
For more information on the updated app, visit www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/heatstress/heatapp.html.
What are some points regarding proper use of fire extinguishers?
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there are five primary classes of fires. All extinguishers should be labeled using standard symbols for the classes of fires for which they can be used. Some extinguishers can be used on several different types of fires, such as an A–B–C type of extinguisher, which can be used on Class A, B, and C types of fires. An explanation of the types of fires is as follows:
Class A - Fires involving ordinary combustibles, such as wood, cloth, paper, and plastics.
Class B - Fires involving flammable liquids, such as gasoline, oil, and oil–based paints.
Class C - Fires involving energized electrical equipment, such as wiring, fuse boxes, circuit breakers, appliances, and machinery.
Class D - Fires involving combustible metals, such as magnesium or sodium.
Class K - Fires involving combustible cooking media (vegetable or animal oils and fats).
In terms of safe extinguisher use, the first step is for the employee to evaluate whether the fire can be put out using a portable extinguisher; only trained employees should make this determination. Instruct your employees to:
1. Know what types of materials are burning, and ensure that they are using the correct type of extinguisher for that fire.
2. Consider the possible danger posed by hazardous or highly flammable materials.
3. Always have an unobstructed route away from the fire.
4. Use proper techniques for extinguishing small fires, such as the PASS method. To extinguish a small fire using the PASS method:
- Pull the pin to unlock the extinguisher’s operating lever to allow discharge of the extinguisher.
- Aim low, and point the extinguisher toward the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the lever to begin discharging the contents of the extinguisher.
- Sweep back and forth as you move closer to the fire. Keep the extinguisher pointed at the base of the fire until the fire appears to be out.
- We are working on improving the process of insurance applications for ICCs.
- All claims should now be entered using the new Claims Management System online.
- Please have ICCs complete the driver/help status verification form for each of their personnel.