October 19, 2021
SmartBrief on Safety & Workers Compensation
Top Stories
Organizations in high-hazard industries can use a "chronic unease" attitude that promotes awareness, vigilance and ongoing reassessment of safety culture and practices, write Richard Smith and Mike Snyder of DEKRA. "A state of mind preoccupied with potential failure is beneficial only when it drives specific, planned and timely action to reduce risk and prioritize safety -- even when it may introduce inefficiencies into your daily work process," they write.
Full Story: IndustryWeek (10/11) 
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Robots will soon be joining pedestrians on the nation's sidewalks, performing a variety of jobs in the process. An ASME video explores the tasks they'll undertake, from monitoring human behavior and safety to relieving their human counterparts of dull or difficult jobs, such as making deliveries.
Full Story: ASME (10/11) 
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Safety Leadership and Statistics
Boeing will require its 125,000 employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 8 or have an approved exemption, which will come with frequent testing. Employees choosing to receive the two-dose Moderna vaccine face an Oct. 27 deadline for the first shot, while deadlines for Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson are further out.
Full Story: The Seattle Times (tiered subscription model) (10/12) 
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Regulatory Issues
Fall protection has, by a wide margin, topped the list of OSHA safety standards violated most often, according to data from the 2021 fiscal year. Respiratory protection took the second spot, likely due to COVID-19 concerns, followed by ladder-related incidents.
Full Story: Safety + Health (10/12) 
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OSHA is still working through its rule-making process to implement the Biden administration's call to mandate vaccines or testing, but employers are being urged to act now. "Businesses owe it to themselves to put together a framework to manage this," said Chuck Kable of Axiom Medical Consulting.
Full Story: Business Insurance (tiered subscription model) (10/5),  The New York Times (10/7) 
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Many employers are concentrating on issues surrounding the initial vaccination of their employees, but they may soon face issues related to booster shots, write Edward Blue and Alana Genderson of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. They discuss uncertainties and challenges and offer advice for planning ahead, such as by amending the definition of "full vaccination" under company policies.
Full Story: Bloomberg Law (10/1) 
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Companies can impose insurance surcharges on employees who are not vaccinated for COVID-19, or discount premiums for those who are, according to guidance from three US Cabinet departments. Workers can be exempt for medical reasons.
Full Story: The National Law Review (10/5) 
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Lessons Learned
Attorneys David Hickey and Amba Datta outline the requirements for federal contractors under the White House's COVID-19 vaccine expectations. They recommend that contractors appoint a designated employee to be in charge of COVID-19 worker safety, and also come up with an action plan for workers who refuse to get vaccinated.
Full Story: JD Supra/Kelley Drye & Warren (10/11) 
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Thirty-five percent of construction contractors expanded online training in the past 12 months, with over 75% saying that COVID-19 prompted the increase, according to a Dodge Data & Analytics report. "Despite the new requirements and challenges brought about by having to deal with COVID-19, the study findings demonstrate contractor commitments to their top safety practices," said Steve Jones, senior director of industry insights research at Dodge.
Full Story: EHS Today (10/13) 
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