OSHA Improves Silica Standards for Better Risk Management
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) just issued a new standard for worker exposure to silica dust. The regulations will help protect 2.3 million workers who are exposed to respirable silica by preventing silicosis, a fatal lung disease, and lung cancer. The standard will impact many industries, including manufacturing, transportation, and construction. Key provisions include lowering the permissible exposure limit by over 50%, requiring the use of engineering controls and respiratory protection, and medical exams for at-risk employees. The total annual cost of compliance to industry is estimated at $1 billion, while net benefits are estimated at up to $7.7 billion annually.
LNS Research’s Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) analyst Pete Bussey commented, “This standard has been a long time coming, as the reduced silica exposure limit was first proposed 40 years ago. The good news is that action has been taken to address a well-known occupational health risk. This standard is among the broadest issued by OHSA in terms of the number of industry sectors and workplaces impacted. It illustrates the importance of employers having a solid EHS risk management system in place to adapt to new requirements, with the ability to assess risk, monitor exposure levels, ensure controls are implemented, and track medical exams. As employers face the need to manage more regulatory requirements and risks like this, the importance of having a good EHS information management system will become even more evident.” To read more about this click here.
Making Gains from the IoT
“The Internet of Things is the next frontier in the digital revolution,” according to the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. We couldn’t agree more here at LNS Research. If you have been keeping up with our blogs series centered on the Digital Transformation by LNS Research Principal Analyst, Dan Mikolvic, you’ll find that the Internet of Things (IoT) and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) play a large part in the Digital Transformation. By properly investing in the IoT and IIoT, organizations can properly utilize Big Data Analytics, Cloud, and Smart Connected Operations.
For instance, John Deere currently has an example of Smart Manufacturing. Aside from building plow and landscape equipment for over a century, it added a new tool for its users. It added new sensors to help farmers, in real-time, decide the best places to plow, plant, and what to grow. By using real-time Big Data and the IoT, farmers are able to enhance their “manufacturing,” and benefit. For more information on this click here, and to read further into Digital Transformation click here.
Boeing Makes Major Cuts
Boeing, the U.S aircraft maker, announced it will discontinue nearly 4,000 positions from its commercial airplane division. The company announced a voluntary layoff program last month, which will contribute 1,600 to the anticipated 4,000. The remaining 2,400 are either vacant positions that will be diminished, or gradually cut.
The company earned a revenue of $96.1 billion in 2015, where it is reported that the airplane commercial division makes up for 68% of that profit. Boeing was able to deliver 762 aircrafts in 2015, a record high. Since the announcement that it will be trimming down positions within, Boeing expects to deliver 742 aircrafts, 20 less, in 2016. The changes will also bring a more structured management system to become a “more streamlined and nimble organization that can respond to marketplace demands,” stated Marc Birtel, a Boeing spokesman. To read more about future production plans amidst the job cuts click here.
GM Polices Recent Recall
General Motors has issued a recall of nearly 6,300 vehicles. The faulty cars being recalled are Chevrolet Caprice Police Pursuit vehicles, commonly used by police officers. It has been reported that a safety risk is potentially the result of a steering defect.
A safety report filed with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Administration stated the vehicle’s electric power steering control is vulnerable to defects. A torque sensor connector vital to the electric power steering is susceptible to corrosion due to the long and many hours of usage that police put the vehicles thought. This leaves the electric power steering damaged and the risk of vehicular accidents high. Although no injuries or accidents have been reports, GM stated the issue will be fixed promptly by its dealerships as no cost. To read more on the recall and torque corrosion click here.