Blakeman & Associates Newsletter
March | 2016
Good Afternoon!
Blakeman is pleased to provide you with our March newsletter to help keep you up to date on important changes and new regulations within HR, DOT, safety and more. If there is any topic you would like more information on, feel free to call us or simply respond to the e-mail. We are here as a resource -- to increase your compliance, productivity and efficiency.
Controlled Substances Testing Percentage Rate For 2016
The FMCSA announced that it is reducing the minimum annual percentage rate for random controlled substances testing for drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) requiring a commercial driver's license (CDL). The rate will decrease from 50 percent of the average number of driver positions to 25 percent of the average number of driver positions, effective in the calendar year 2016. 
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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on January 21, 2016. The intention of the NPRM is to establish new methods for proposing a motor carrier unfit. Here are a few changes you can expect with the new Safety Fitness Determination (SFD):

  • Instead of the three safety ratings (“satisfactory,” “conditional,” or “unsatisfactory”), there will only be one — “unfit.”
  • Carriers will be assessed monthly, using fixed failure measures identified in the NPRM.
  • For BASICS with a higher correlation to crash risk, stricter standards will be used.
  • Violations of a revised list of “critical” and “acute” safety regulations will result in failing a BASIC.
  • With the new SFD, all investigation results will be used, not just the results obtained in comprehensive on-site reviews. 
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Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) recently sent a letter to Metal and Non-Metal operators stating the following: 

“MSHA will stress the importance of concentrating on effective lockout procedures by focusing additional resources on increased enforcement and education and outreach, including walk-and-talks” by inspectors and the agency’s Educational Field and Small Mines Services unit. 

MSHA provides insight on best-practices regarding lock-out/tag-out policies: 
“A Lock-Tag-Try program ensures that all energy sources are isolated before electrical or mechanical work is performed and protects miners from the dangers of an uncontrolled, unplanned release of energy. An effective Lock-Tag-Try program consists of disconnecting power and locking the switch; attaching an identifying tag; and, trying to start the equipment or test for power. 

A critical element of a Lock-Tag-Try program is verifying that the correct equipment has been effectively locked out. Before beginning work, best practices include trying to start or operate mechanical equipment to assure it is off and blocked against hazardous motion and for electricians to test power circuits to assure they are de-energized. A good rule of thumb is: “It’s not locked out until you’ve tried it out!””

For more information regarding the greater enforcement changes and how to prepare for it, contact Blakeman & Associates.
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In This Issue 

Controlled Substances Testing Percentage Rate

Safety Fitness Determination

Greater Lock-Out/Tag-Out Enforcement 

Ask The Experts 
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