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A new enforcement weighting system assigns greater value to complex inspections that require more Occupational Safety & Health Administration resources and, agency officials note, will allow strategic planning and measurement of inspections while ensuring all workers are equally protected, regardless of the industry they work in. Effective October, the system assigns “Enforcement Units” to each inspection. Routine inspections count as one unit; those requiring greater resources and involving such factors as musculoskeletal disorders, chemical exposures and process safety management violations, count as up to nine units. Values are based on historical data and will be monitored and adjusted as necessary.

A preliminary total of 4,679 fatal work injuries recorded in the U.S. during 2014 marks a 2 percent increase over prior year figures, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. Preliminary 2014 figures show a fatal work injury rate at 3.3 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers, matching the 2013 level.

National Ready Mixed Concrete Association and its Truck Mixer Manufacturers Bureau (TMMB) affiliate question cost and weight factors attending a prospective National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requirement that heavy-duty trucks bear stronger rear underride guards than presently compliant models. Preliminary estimates indicate the newer guards would add $307–$453 and 169–210 lb. to vehicle cost and weight, and represent $925 to $1,505 in life cycle fuel consumption.


An updated reference title from the Association of the Work Truck Industry (NTEA) details critical elements for compliance with federal laws and regulations on motor vehicle certification and labeling. Geared to upfitters, the NTEA Commercial Vehicle Certification Guide clarifies labeling as it relates to intermediate, final-stage and altered manufacturing. Procedures for Tire and Loading Information and Cargo Carrying Capacity Modification labels are also covered.

Replacement and use of more energy-efficient parts and equipment such as dust collectors, conveyor belt pulleys and lighting have enabled Cemex USA ready mixed plants in La Porte, Mission and Rosenburg, Texas, to cut their energy intensity by an average of 21 percent and meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Challenge for Industry. The reduced power consumption is more than double the Challenge benchmark, which calls for candidates to clip energy use by 10 percent over five years.