January 25, 2022
SmartBrief on Safety & Workers Compensation
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Top Stories
The Mississippi Department of Transportation says it has bought drones equipped with lidar to bolster its fleet of lidar-enabled vehicles for road construction measurements and mapping. The department says the drones will help keep workers safe and allow them to complete field tasks faster.
Full Story: Transportation Today (1/14) 
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The Labor Department has increased civil penalties by 1.06% to adjust for inflation. The increase applies to penalties levied by the Mine Safety and Health Administration and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Full Story: Safety + Health (1/18) 
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Safety Leadership and Statistics
The imperative to replace older workers is a major factor behind the adoption of industrial robotics, according to a new study published in the journal The Review of Economic Studies. Human aging drives about 35% of the world's automation transition, topping incentives provided by advances in technology for such common areas as welding, assembly and transportation, according to MIT professor and research co-author Daron Acemoglu.
Full Story: ASME (1/18) 
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Regulatory Issues
The Supreme Court's rejection of OSHA's COVID-19 vaccine rules for large employers empower businesses to make their own decisions while complying with state and local requirements. "This ruling has significant impact on the job market, as it's no longer an even playing field among large employers in terms of recruitment," says employment lawyer David Gordon of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp.
Full Story: Human Resource Executive (1/14) 
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Lessons Learned
A few of the ways distributors can retain and recruit warehouse workers are by investing in technology, going beyond minimum safety and environmental requirements, and making sure the total benefits package is strong, including amenities, writes Eric Allais, president and CEO of PathGuide Technologies.
Full Story: Modern Distribution Management (tiered subscription model) (1/13) 
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New Products
Denso says it has improved the nearby sensing capabilities of vehicles with its Global Safety Package 3, an active safety system. The system is already used in four vehicles; it combines a vision sensor and a millimeter-wave radar sensor.
Full Story: Auto Connected Car News (1/16) 
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Logistics companies ArcBest and NFI Industries are rolling out thousands of remote-operated forklifts that use Phantom Auto's teleoperation software. The forklifts could help address labor shortages at warehouses by making it possible for forklift operators to work off-site.
Full Story: BNN Bloomberg (Canada) (1/19) 
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Technology
Airspace and flight regulations governing drones should not deter contractors from using the technology to bring new efficiencies to surveying, writes Margaret Farmakis, a customer relations executive at Propeller Aero. Farmakis reviews the rules and what it takes to obtain a license and begin flying.
Full Story: For Construction Pros (1/10) 
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