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SAFETY & COMPLIANCE NEWS

Keep up to date on the latest developments affecting OSHA, DOT, EPA, and DOL regulatory compliance.

Regulations change quickly. Compliance Network ensures you never miss a relevant update with a personalized feed of featured news and analysis, industry highlights, and more.

RECENT INDUSTRY HIGHLIGHTS

Flu season means it is time to remind employees of this simple action that can help stop the spread

Flu season means it is time to remind employees of this simple action that can help stop the spread

Flu season began picking up steam in early fall, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expects it to continue for weeks or months.

That makes it a great time to remind employees to take a simple, yet effective, preventative step: washing their hands properly.

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2 more states have legal marijuana  3 takeaways for your business

2 more states have legal marijuana 3 takeaways for your business

On election day 2022, recreational marijuana ballot initiatives passed in Maryland and Missouri. This brings the number of states with legal recreational marijuana to 21.

Details yet to be decided in Maryland

Maryland’s constitutional amendment relating to marijuana takes effect on or after July 1, 2023. Before it takes effect, the state General Assembly needs to pass legislation addressing marijuana use, regulation, distribution, and taxation.

Missouri legalizes recreational marijuana, expands rights of medical marijuana users

Under Missouri’s constitutional amendment, recreational marijuana will become legal on December 8. The amendment allows employers to prohibit marijuana use in the workplace and take a negative employment action against an employee for working under the influence of marijuana.

The amendment also adds anti-discrimination protections for medical marijuana users. Employers cannot penalize, discipline, or terminate employees, or refuse to hire applicants, because they:

  • Have a valid medical marijuana card,
  • Legally use marijuana off the employer's premises during nonworking hours, or
  • Test positive for marijuana components or metabolites.

The law does contain some exceptions. It does not apply when:

  • Following the law would cause an employer to lose a monetary or licensing-related benefit under federal law (such as a federal contract or grant),
  • An employee is in a position in which legal use of a lawful marijuana product affects a person's ability to perform job-related employment responsibilities or the safety of others, or
  • Medical marijuana use conflicts with a bona fide occupational qualification that is reasonably related to the person's employment.

Employer takeaways on legalized marijuana

Marijuana legalization in Maryland and Missouri adds to the patchwork of state cannabis laws employers must follow. While this brings additional considerations for drug testing, as well as hiring and firing decisions, employers should remember that:

  1. There are things they can do. Employers do not need to allow employees to work unsafely or to use or have marijuana in the workplace. In all states, employers can take a negative action (such as refusing to hire, disciplining, firing) if an employee is impaired by marijuana at work or uses or possesses marijuana at work.
  2. Training is critical. When a state has a medical or recreational marijuana law, supervisors should understand what they can and cannot do when it comes to testing for marijuana. They should also know how to address a medical marijuana user’s request for use of marijuana when away from work. In addition, they should know the signs of impairment due to drug use.
  3. Documentation has never been more important. Because a positive drug test for marijuana does not prove impairment, signs of impairment should always be documented. An employer may be able to take a negative action based on these signs alone (such as unsafe work or sleeping on the job), or in conjunction with a positive marijuana test.

In states where marijuana remains illegal, employers may continue to follow federal law and address marijuana use in their workplace drug policy as they see fit. In addition, employees who are covered by federal Department of Transportation (DOT) drug testing rules are prohibited from using marijuana and face consequences for testing positive.

Key to remember: As marijuana legalization becomes more widespread, employers should be familiar with the laws in the states where they have employees. All employers can prohibit marijuana in the workplace but have additional considerations regarding drug testing and employee rights in states where marijuana is legal.

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Get consent before collecting biometric data with ELDs and dash cams

Get consent before collecting biometric data with ELDs and dash cams

Technology has changed transportation safety management controls. The obligation to protect the data collected and employees' privacy goes along with using technology.

Biometric data such as facial geometry data, fingerprints, digital voiceprints, and iris scans must be stored and protected with prior consent.

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Take action to prevent falls from CMVs

Take action to prevent falls from CMVs

Even experienced drivers are not immune to the hazards of working on top of a truck or trailer.

Take, for instance, two recent episodes in Washington state, both involving experienced truck drivers:

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2023-01-27T06:00:00Z

EPA Reconsideration of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter

SUMMARY: Based on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) reconsideration of the air quality criteria and the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter (PM), the EPA proposes to revise the primary annual PM 2.5 standard by lowering the level. The Agency proposes to retain the current primary 24-hour PM 2.5 standard and the primary 24-hour PM 10 standard. The Agency also proposes not to change the secondary 24-hour PM 2.5 standard, secondary annual PM 2.5 standard, and secondary 24-hour PM 10 standard at this time. The EPA also proposes revisions to other key aspects related to the PM NAAQS, including revisions to the Air Quality Index (AQI) and monitoring requirements for the PM NAAQS.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before March 28, 2023. Published in the Federal Register January 27, 2023, page 5558.

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