Although we have cancelled our in person Spring Conference due to the ongoing pandemic, be sure to hold the morning of April 21 on your calendar. We will be conducting a “virtual” session with our keynote speaker, Anirban Basu. You will get an outlook invitation soon. Mr. Basu is a prominent economist based in Washington, D.C. and a highly sought after speaker who is well known as an economist that has a personality. His presentations are known as much for their humor as for their accuracy.
The Industrial Steel Drum Institute (ISDI) recently announced that its Steel Drums 101 for Emergency Responders course will now be available virtually through TRANSCAER℠’s recently launched Learning Management System (LMS). The LMS is another valuable asset used to educate and train emergency responders on how to safely handle steel drums. By completing ISDI’s educational courses and training programs entirely online, first responders and interested parties can learn about steel drum safety as their schedule permits from the safety of their own homes. As an additional benefit, attendees will earn a training certificate upon completion of each course or training.
Dating back to November of 2018, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) convened a standards development committee on the Sustainability of Plastic Packaging, STP 3420. Chris Pajak of NOVA Chemicals and Susan Nauman have both participated in the committee. The committee has accepted the RIBCA/PDI comment to exclude industrial packaging types and the standard will focus on retail and consumer packaging. RIBCA recently submitted a definition of “industrial packaging” to ensure that this packaging type is not included in the standard. The definition is taken from an ISO standard 21067-1:2016 Packaging vocabulary as follows: Industrial packaging – packaging for raw materials, components and partially manufactured or finished goods, for distribution from manufacturer to manufacturer and/or other intermediaries such as processor or assembler.
Mr. Bill Quade, Deputy Associate Administrator, Policy and Programs in the Office of Hazardous Materials Safety (OHMS) has announced that the reorganization of the department has been approved and is underway. The reorganization will be a lengthy process. Currently OHMS has 11 divisions and the reorganization will result in 10 divisions. One area of interest to IPANA members is elimination of the Approval and Permits Division. The workload will be divided among other divisions with the branch that handles approvals moving to the Engineering and Sciences Divisions (Lad Falat) which houses the technical expertise to process approvals. The remaining staff that handles special permits will be transferred to Standards and Rulemaking (Shane Kelley). The reorganization is expected to streamline processing.
The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced adjustments to civil penalties in accordance with inflation. The maximum civil penalty for a hazardous materials violation is now $83,439.00. You can email the office for copies of the 2018 and 2019 civil penalty assessments issued by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration since they are difficult to locate on the web.
The Biden Administration has wasted no time in reversing many of the Trump-era deregulatory policies we’ve seen over the past four years. Among the 17 executive orders signed by President Biden on Day 1 is the Executive Order on Revocation of Certain Executive Orders Concerning Federal Regulations. This order revokes the Trump Administration’s regulatory reform actions and is designed to empower agencies to have the tools necessary to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, racial justice, and economic recovery in short order. President Biden has also issued a memorandum directing the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to produce a set of recommendations for improving and modernizing regulatory review. The memorandum calls for concrete suggestions on how the regulatory review process can “promote public health and safety, economic growth, social welfare, racial justice, environmental stewardship, human dignity, equity, and the interests of future generations.”
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has issued new guidance regarding workplace safety and COVID-19 stating, “This guidance is designed to help businesses reopen and stay open, safely. It will help employers and workers identify risks of being exposed to or contracting COVID-19 in the workplace, and implement a COVID-19 Prevention Program to address those risks”. You can access the guidance by clicking here. Key points include an increased emphasis on worker participation in hazard assessment, worker protections, antiretaliation measures and identifying measures that limit risk to workers. In keeping with President Biden’s agenda, the guidance focuses on the importance of involving workers in developing a plan to minimize exposure. The guidance also recommends making the COVID-19 vaccine available at no cost to all eligible employees. OSHA has also been charged with determining whether an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for COVID-19 is needed by March.”
Speaking of vaccinations, the National Association of Manufacturers has launched a social campaign entitled, This is Our Shot, to promote vaccination among the manufacturing community. The campaign was motivated by surveys that indicate about 30-40% of the population is hesitant to take the vaccine.
People, Places & Things
The Korn Ferry Institute has some tips on work habits that we need to change in 2021. First on the list is to stop working in your pajamas. Another problem is the merging of work and personal life when you work at your dining room table. CEOs report that their employees are working more and longer hours neglecting to take time off. You can click here to read more.