Chapter Safety Professional of the Year is Kara Van Blarcum

The 2024 Tarheel Chapter Safety Professional of the Year was awarded to Kara Van Blarcum.

“Ryan Cate encouraged me to join our local ASSP Chapter when I expressed an interest to him in learning more H&S for when I go on audits so I could do both the Env. as well as the H&S side when a single auditor is needed, and joining helped me develop that skill set. I encourage anyone else who is interested in developing a new skill set to find an organization and/or peers to help you grow as well. Thank you to Ryan, for the great advice who we continue to miss, and to the Tarheel Chapter for this recognition!”

Please join us in congratulating Kara on this well-deserved award!

ASSP Foundation Update

Applications for ASSP Foundation academic scholarships ended on February 15, 2024.

There is also an ASSP Foundation Career Development Grant Program and ASSP Foundation Family Scholarship options and both of these deadlines are 12/31/2024.

More details on these scholarships can be found: ASSP Foundation | Academic Scholarships

Academic scholarships are available for students within the occupational safety and health field, preparing for their careers or looking to supplement their careers with additional college coursework.  Programs of study must be either directly related to the occupational safety and health field or will be utilized to support the occupational safety and health field. This can include a variety of degrees. If your degree is not directly related to occupational safety and health, you will be asked to clarify how you will be using your degree to support the field of occupational safety and health.

Proposal Response for Emergency Response Workers – Comment Period Extended

OSHA’s proposal to update an existing standard and expand safety and health protections for emergency responders, including firefighters, emergency medical service providers and technical search and rescue workers. ASSP is collecting comments:

  1. Please submit any comments to Scott Baranowski, by 4/26/24.  Scott will consolidate and forward to ASSP.
  2. Even though the deadline for the comment period is 6/21/24, ASSP wants time to consolidate all the comments prior to submittal.
  3. The proposed rule was issued on February 5, 2024

OSHA Alert Addresses Food Processing Hazards

OSHA has issued an alert about severe injury hazards in the food processing industry. According to industry data for 2015-22, food and beverage processing machinery and butchering machinery were the primary contributors to severe injuries in the industry.

Compliance inspections completed in 2022-23 show an increase in fatalities and amputations among young workers in the industry, the agency reports, pointing to insufficient training as a root cause. “Employers should focus appropriate attention to ensuring younger and inexperienced workers receive sufficient instruction and oversight,” OSHA say. Increased reliance on temporary and contract workers is another contributing factor. The alert advises employers to conduct job hazard assessments of all machinery, drawing specific attention to OSHA’s lockout/tagout regulations (29 CFR 1910.147) and the proper use of measures such as guards, presence-sensing devices and trip devices.

Rights to Employee Representation During Inspections

OSHA published a final rule clarifying the rights of employees to authorize a representative to accompany a compliance offer during an inspection of their workplace.

According to the final rule, a non-employee representative may be “reasonably necessary based upon skills, knowledge or experience,” which may include knowledge or experience with hazards or conditions in the workplace or similar workplaces, or language or communication skills to ensure an effective and thorough inspection.

“These revisions better align OSHA’s regulation with the OSH Act and enable the agency to conduct more effective inspections, “OSHA says, adding that its “regulations require no specific qualifications for employer representatives or for employee representatives who are employed by the employer.”