ASSE Raises Awareness on Distracted Driving

distracted driving

Did you know that April is Distracted Driver Awareness Month?

Every year, about 500,000 people injured and 6,000 die due to distracted driving accidents.This month, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) Transportation Practice Specialty (TPS) group’s efforts to raise awareness on this issue are apparent.

According to the Department of Transportation, younger drivers are especially more likely to be involved. This is also due to the higher use of cell phones and technology while behind the wheel. So far, 33 states have banned text messaging while driving with a few going a bit further and making it illegal using a cellphone at all.

So if you find yourself guilty of this, how do you break the habit? Here are some tips from the TPS to help you steer clear of distracted driving:distracted driving

  • Program your device so you do not answer and notify the caller that you will be driving and are not available to respond at the moment. In an emergency, family should know to call 911 or other family members.
  • In case someone urgently needs to reach you, devise a procedure such as three rings, hang up, wait 2 minutes, call again and repeat to allow time to pull over safely.
  • Know your route in advance and, if using a navigation system, pre-program it.
  • Prepare the vehicle cab and yourself for driving, including your management of any distractions, be they inside or outside of your vehicle.
  • Maintain safe spacing on the road or move to a less obstructed lane.

To learn more on distracted driving tips and prevention, visit

Have a safe trip!


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Lake Wales, FL Resurfaces Highway for Safety

SR 60 and Peace CreeFor any Floridians out there, the announcement that S.R. 60 from the U.S. 27 to the Peace Creek Canal will be resurfacing may be of importance to you.

Margaret Swanson, Planning and Development Director of Lake Wales has stated the plan to improve the lane turns for people heading east from the highway onto Central Avenue due to the railroad tracks many drivers have to stop on. Another big reason for this project is also to the fact that its “pitch black at there at night” says Swanson.

In turn, the FDOT plans on extending the turn lane, improving the median, as well as put brighter lighting. Five new overhead lights at the intersection of SR 60 and Central Ave. will be added to the city’s maintenance agreement with the FDOT. This agreement was first set back in May 2005 and now that it is in the process, the FDOT will pay 90 percent of each light will cost to maintain.

The city of Lake Wales will receive $196 per light adding to a total of $55,836 a year.

Visit for more information.


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OSHA’s Haz Comm Officially Aligns With Global Harmonized System

After years of discussion, OSHA has finally announced its final ruling on its Hazard Communication standard to be aligned with the United Nations’ GHS.
GHS stands for the “Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals”. GHS is a system that defines and classifies the hazards of chemical products, and communicates health and safety information on labels and material safety data sheets (called Safety Data Sheets, or SDSs, in GHS). An international team of hazard communication experts developed GHS.
Haz Comm 2012, as it is now known at the agency, communicates information about chemical hazards in the workplace “more
simply, clearly and effectively,” says OSHA Assistant Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. It “empowers [workers] with the best information about the chemicals they handle in the workplace,” she added.
OSHA’s Haz Comm standard requires chemical manufacturers and importers to evaluate the hazards of the chemicals they produce or import, and prepare labels and safety data sheets to convey the hazard information to their downstream customers. It also requires all employers with hazardous chemicals in their workplaces to have labels and safety data sheets for their exposed workers, and train them to handle the chemicals appropriately.
Some of the major changes in the standard are:
  • Hazard classification: Provides specific criteria for classification of health and physical hazards, as well as classification of mixtures.
  • Labels: Chemical manufacturers and importers will be required to provide a label that includes a harmonized signal word, pictogram and hazard statement for each hazard class and category. Precautionary statements also must be provided.
  • Safety data sheets: Now will have a specified 16-section format.
  • Information and training: Employers are required to train workers by Dec. 1, 2013 on the new labels’ elements and safety data sheets’ format to facilitate recognition and understanding.
How Safety Links Can Help You:
OSHA estimates about 5 million workplaces in the US will be affected. Although most agree that this decision has will benefit overall, it can also cause disruption in the re-alignment with the new GHS implementation for many companies. Strong processes, applications, systems, and service providers can be a great help in order to achieve compliance.
After years of experience and thorough understanding of GHS and its implementation in our HazCom course, we understand and are able help ease the alignment for your existing HazCom in your company.
If you would like to learn more about our HazCom course this visit page here: or give us a call at 407-505-2803 for a consultation on implementing GHS with OSHA’s new HazCom 2012 standard.

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North American Product Safety Agencies Team Up in the Name of Poison Prevention

U.S. Consumer Product Safety CommissionOffice of Information and Public Affairs4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814, Report an Unsafe Product: ******************************************************** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 19, 2012 Release #12-133 CPSC Hotline: (800) 638-2772 CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908 WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the United States marks the 50th anniversary of National Poison Prevention…

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OSHA Under Obama Administration

After three years of the Obama administration, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) finds its ability to police the business community is extremely limited, even with a Democrat in the White House and legitimate health and safety experts leading the agency. Almost every new regulation the agency issues, no matter how minor, is rebuffed…

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New Fall Protection Standards Approved

The ANSI (American National Standards Institute) approved two American Society of Safety Engineers’ (ASSE) fall protection standards: ANSI/ASSE Z359.14-2012 Safety Requirements for Self-Retracting Devices for Personal Fall Arrest and Rescue Systems; and ANSI/ASSE Z359.4-2012 Safety Requirements for Assisted-Rescue and Self-Rescue Systems, Subsystems and Components. (Revised) ANSI/ASSE Z359.14-2012 Safety Requirements for Self-Retracting Devices for Personal Fall…

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MSHA Says Operations Improving

MSHA says operations improving Press Release from the U.S. Department of Labor’s MSHA ARLINGTON, Va. – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration today announced that overall compliance with safety and health regulations is improving among the nation’s more than 12,000 metal and nonmetal mining operations. Preliminary data indicate a 14 percent…

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OSHA & SCHS Renew Alliance

OSHA has recently announced its renewed Alliance with the Society for Chemical Hazard Communication (SCHC) to “promote best practices to reduce worker exposure to hazardous chemicals”.  This agreement is set for two year. Their main goal for is to continue to address hazard communication and to increase the awareness of the Globally Harmonized System of…

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OSHA Is Pressured To Enforce Lower Workplace Noise Levels

The ASSE or American Society of Safety Engineers has raised awareness to OSHA to lower the permissible exposure limit for noise from 90 to 85 dBA. This was brought to attention to them via a letter to OSHA from them opposing the agency’s Interpretation of Provisions for Feasible Administrative or Engineering controls of Occupational Noise.…

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Former Massey Security Chief Sentenced 3 Years for Lying and Tampering

Hughie Elbert Stover, former Security Chief at West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch (UBB) Coal Mine was sentenced to 3 years in prison, 2 years of probation, and $20,000 in fines. The Department of Justice mentions that during the April 2010 mine explosion at UBB, where 29 miners died, he was responsible for lying to investigators and getting rid of evidence of safety and health violations.

According to charges, mine inspectors had issued citations with violations, but still allowed the mine to operate. In addition, they also issued orders which would lead to either the entire or part of the mine to stop its operations until the violations were corrected.

Even though giving an advance notice of an MSHA inspection is against the law, Stover was charged with being responsible on just that from February 2008 to April of 2012.

Other supervisors involved have also been charged due to involvement in this tragic event, including Gary May and Thomas Harrah.

To read the full press article, visit


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