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OSHA harmonizes confined space rule for general industry, construction sites

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a final rule, effective August 2015, to increase protections for construction workers in confined spaces, where life-threatening hazards include toxic substance exposure, electrocution, explosions, and asphyxiation. Manholes, crawl spaces, tanks, and other confined spaces are not intended for continuous occupancy, agency officials contend, adding that such structures are also difficult to exit in an emergency.

 

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Forum Quantifies Environmental, Fuel Economy Merits of SCR Systems

12 SCR 150Growing adoption of clean diesel systems utilizing Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology is reducing emissions and increasing fuel efficiency in heavy-duty trucks and smaller vehicles, according to Diesel Technology Forum Executive Director Allen Schaeffer.

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Construction Coalition study: OSHA silica rule cost estimate off by $4.5 billion

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s proposed standards covering crystalline silica will cost contractors and their suppliers $5 billion per year—nearly $4.5 billion above estimates agency officials indicated in September 2013, when they outlined a new permissible exposure limit (PEL) for general workplaces and construction sites.

Read more: Construction Coalition study: OSHA silica rule cost estimate off by $4.5 billion

Group enlightens EPA on new diesel engines’ indispensable role in cleaner air

During the first of three hearings on updated national air quality standards for ground-level ozone, Diesel Technology Forum Executive Director Allen Schaeffer told U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials that new engine technology and accelerated upgrades to existing vehicles and equipment will be important in meeting future thresholds. EPA has proposed to strengthen ozone standards to a level within a range of 65 to 70 parts per billion to further reduce national air quality issues, while also taking comments on a level as low as 60 ppb.

 

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FMCSA Exempts Mixer Truck Drivers From Hours of Service Break Rule

After 18-plus months of discussion between National Ready Mixed Concrete Association representatives, federal lawmakers and agency staff, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has exempted concrete mixer truck drivers from the 30-minute break requirement in the current hours of service (HOS) guidelines. NRMCA Chairman Allen Hamblen (CalPortland) credits association members and staff for efforts leading to “much needed regulatory relief for the industry.”

 

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