Equipment Distributors clarify “right to repair” distortions

An expansive White House order issued under the banner of “promoting competition in the American economy” presents 72 initiatives for more than a dozen federal agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission, which is encouraged to limit “equipment manufacturers from restricting people’s ability to use independent repair shops.” The order instructs the FTC chairman to consider working with colleagues to exercise…

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Court sides with truck driver turned OSHA whistleblower

Sources: Occupational Safety and Health Administration; CP staff U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has approved the settlement of an Occupational Safety and Health Administration whistleblower investigation revealing how Advance Disposal Services Waste Midwest LLC retaliated against a driver who reported a workplace injury and raised concerns that an unrepaired truck was unsafe to operate. The court…

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Underwriters support payment protections for TIFIA-funded project subs

The Surety & Fidelity Association of America in Washington, D.C. cites Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Mike Rounds (R-SD), and Congressmen Stephen Lynch (D-MA) and Troy Balderson (R-OH) for their introduction of “Promoting Infrastructure by Protecting Our Subcontractors and Taxpayers Act.” The legislation provides essential protections for workers, suppliers and contractors by requiring payment backing on federally financed infrastructure…

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OSHA rethinks coronavirus mitigation and prevention guidance

Sources: Occupational Safety and Health Administration; CP staff As employers approach one year of pandemic response measures, OSHA’s just-issued “Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of Covid-19 in the Workplace” provides updated recommendations plus reminders of existing safety and health standards. Among essential prevention program elements, the guidance recommends that employers: 

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Magnetic sling protectors

Linton Rigging Gear product line integration has spurred company’s rebranding of the LiftGuard Magnetic Sling Protector series. The devices are one-seventh the weight of steel; prevent damage to slings caused by contact with abrasive load edges, corners, or protrusions; and, keep the sling away from other significant contact points during lifting operations. Medium Duty, Heavy Duty, and Coil Edge protectors…

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ANSI-grade eye, face protection

Domestically made, American National Standards Institute-certified RealShield attaches to a hardhat, cap or visor. While ANSI standards are what the Occupational Safety and Health Administration refers to as the “criteria for determining face shield acceptability,” adult and youth size RealShields are ANSI Z-87.1-2020 certified for eye and face protection. Both versions ship in retail packs of four or 50-unit bulk…

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Court rejects Big Labor petition to force OSHA’s hand on Covid-19 standard

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit dismissed an American Federation of Labor–Council of Industrial Organizations petition seeking an order compelling the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue an emergency temporary standard (ETS) for infectious disease and Covid-19 workplace exposure. AFL-CIO had filed a writ of mandamus petition in May after initially petitioning OSHA in March to issue an ETS addressing the virus outbreak.

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Essential, responsible employers lessen need for OSHA virus exposure standard

Our Chairman’s Report series continues this month with visits to Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute’s Marshall Brown (ACM Chemistries; pages 50-52) and Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute’s J. Seroky (High Concrete Group; pages 54-57). When asked how their organizations addressed national and state government pandemic response mandates from mid-March on, their refrains are consistent with what we heard last month from 2020 National Concrete Masonry Association Chairman Tom Finch (RCP Block & Brick): Producers successfully expedited new measures to identify and isolate potential virus spread among team members and customers. Thanks to online conferencing tools, ICPI, NCMA and PCI members have been able to spontaneously share best practices and metrics for ensuring healthy workplaces in unchartered waters.

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Truck weight-minded whistleblower banks $220K in OSHA order

Sources: Occupational Safety and Health Administration; CP staff

Abiding its Whistleblower Protection Program, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has ordered JHOS Logistics and Transportation Inc. to reinstate an employee terminated for refusing to drive what the employee reasonably believed to be an overweight vehicle at the company’s Wilmington, Calif. facility. The agency also ordered the motor carrier to pay $190,000 in back wages, $25,000 in punitive damages, $5,000 in compensatory damages, plus attorney’s fees. 

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Court rejects Big Labor suit to force OSHA’s hand on Covid-19 standard

Sources: Associated Builders and Contractors, AFL-CIO, Washington, D.C.; CP staff

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit dismissed an AFL-CIO petition seeking an order compelling the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue an emergency temporary standard (ETS) for infectious disease and Covid-19 workplace exposure. “The agency is authorized to issue an ETS if it determines that ’employees are exposed to grave danger’ from a new hazard in the workplace, and an ETS is ‘necessary’ to protect them from that danger,” a three-judge panel concludes. “The OSHA’s decision not to issue an ETS is entitled to considerable deference.”

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