E&S Update for February 28

E&S Update

ISO's Engineering and Safety Service (E&STM) is a leading provider of technical, legislative, and regulatory information for risk management and loss control. Our services are available on an annual subscription basis. Insurance companies, agents, brokers, risk managers, and others use E&S information to help manage commerical property/casualty risk.

Here is an update on our recent activities.


The following reports were added to the E&S on ISOnet databases between January 1 and February 27. To access a specific report, select the report number following the description of the report.

News Reports

E-Waste Recycling Emits Emerging Synthetic Antioxidant Chemicals - Manufacturers add synthetic antioxidants to plastics, rubbers, and other polymers to make them last longer. However, the health effects of these compounds, and how readily they migrate into the environment, are largely unknown. Now, researchers reporting in the American Chemical Society's journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters have detected a broad range of emerging synthetic antioxidants, called hindered phenol and sulfur antioxidants, in dust from electronic waste (e-waste) recycling workshops, possibly posing risks for the workers inside. NR-2022-02-06

Engineering Guide on Fire Safety for Very Tall Buildings - The Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE), the International Code Council (ICC), and Springer, a leading global scientific and technical publisher, have released the second edition of their guide, "Fire Safety for Very Tall Buildings." Fire safety topics in the guide include: NR-2022-02-02

FMCSA Announces New Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program - On January 14, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a notice on a new apprenticeship pilot program that the agency will implement to allow certain persons ages 18, 19, and 20 to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce. The program was established by Section 23022 of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which was signed into law on November 15, 2021. NR-2022-01-06

High Levels of PFAS Found in Anti-Fogging Sprays and Cloths - The anti-fogging sprays and cloths many people use to prevent condensation on their eyeglasses when wearing a mask or face shield may contain high levels of per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS), a new Duke University-led study finds. Exposure to some PFAS, particularly perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), is associated with impaired immune function, cancer, thyroid disease, and other health disorders. Mothers and young children may be especially vulnerable to the chemicals, which can affect reproductive and developmental health. NR-2022-01-07

HUD Issues Notice on CO Alarms or Detectors in Federally Assisted Housing - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a notice to public housing agencies and authorities (PHAs) and owners of properties that receive federal rental assistance on their obligation to install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms or detectors in this housing by December 27, 2022. The notice also provides information on common sources of building-related CO exposures and ways to prevent such exposures for both property owners and tenants. NR-2022-02-12

Large Loss Fires and Explosions in 2020 - According to the report, "Large Loss Fires and Explosions in 2020," published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), twenty-eight of the estimated 1,388,500 fires in the United States that occurred during 2020 were classified as "large loss fires" (i.e., property losses of ten million dollars or more). These 28 fires accounted for a total property loss and damages of over $8.1 billion and represented nearly 36.8 percent of total property losses that year. In 2020, there were two more large loss fires than there were in 2019, and an increase of more than $6.2 billion in losses. NR-2022-02-09

Microplastic Pollution Aids Antibiotic Resistance, Says Rice Study - The Styrofoam container that holds your takeout cheeseburger may contribute to the population's growing resistance to antibiotics. According to scientists at Rice University's George R. Brown School of Engineering, discarded polystyrene broken down into microplastics provides a cozy home not only for microbes and chemical contaminants but also for the free-floating genetic materials that deliver to bacteria the gift of resistance. NR-2022-01-04

National Academies of Sciences Issues Report on Protecting Workers and the Public from Inhalation Hazards - On February 10, 2022, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) published a Consensus Study Report entitled Frameworks for Protecting Workers and the Public from Inhalation Hazards. The report authors recommend a general framework for oversight and guidance for respiratory protection that may be applied to both workers and the public. The authors then apply that general framework to meet the needs of workers without respiratory protection program and the general population. NR-2022-02-10

New Study Links Occupational Formaldehyde Exposure to Cognitive Impairment - A variety of jobs expose people to formaldehyde, a strong-smelling gas used in manufacturing pressed wood and chemical products, plastics and in other applications. Formaldehyde is classified as a human carcinogen. Long-term exposure to low levels of formaldehyde may cause respiratory difficulty, eczema, and sensitization. A new study suggests that long-term exposure to formaldehyde during work may also be associated with cognitive impairment later on. The research was published in the December 22, 2021 online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. NR-2022-01-02

NFPA Releases 2020 U.S. Fire Service Needs Assessment Survey - The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has released a report on the results of the organization's fifth Fire Service Needs Assessment Survey which provides insight into the capabilities and unmet needs of the fire service. The report is based on survey data collected by the NFPA in 2020-2021. The report indicates that in many cases, unmet needs identified in previously performed surveys have not changed; in other cases, the need has shifted or declined. NR-2022-02-08

NIOSH Files Trademark with Patent Office to Deter Manufacture of Counterfeit N95 Respirators - Counterfeit respirators are products that are falsely marketed and sold as being approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and may not be capable of providing appropriate respiratory protection to workers. With increasing public concern over the spread of COVID, the demand for N95 filtering facepiece respirators has outstripped the supply. As a result, counterfeit respirators have been reported entering the market. NIOSH has announced that it has taken action with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to deter manufacture of these fake N95 respirators. NR-2022-01-05

OSHA Announces Proposed Rule to Update Powered Industrial Trucks Standard for General Industry, Construction - The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is proposing to update the design and construction requirements for OSHA's powered industrial trucks standards for general industry and construction, by adding references to the latest design and construction requirements published by the American National Standards Institute/Industrial Truck Standards Development Foundation (ANSI/ITSDF). OSHA also proposes allowing employers to use powered industrial trucks not constructed in accordance with those national consensus standards if the employer can demonstrate that the truck they use was designed and constructed in a manner that provides at least as effective employee protection as the referenced standards. The proposal was published in the Federal Register on February 16. NR-2022-02-13

OSHA Penalties Up for 2022 - In 2015, Congress passed the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act to advance the effectiveness of civil monetary penalties and to maintain their deterrent effect. Under the Act, agencies are required to publish "catch-up" rules that adjust the level of civil monetary penalties and make subsequent annual adjustments for inflation no later than January 15 of each year. As required by the legislation, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced new penalties for 2022, up from the previous year. NR-2022-02-03

OSHA Reminds Specific Employers to Submit Required 2021 Injury, Illness Data by March 2, 2022 - In a January 5, 2022 press release, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reminded employers that the agency will begin collecting calendar year 2021 Form 300A data on January 2, 2022. Employers must submit the form electronically by March 2, 2022. NR-2022-02-04

People with Inflammatory Bowel Disease May Be Exposed to More Microplastics in the Gastrointestinal Tract - Microplastics - tiny pieces of plastic less than 5 mm in length - are everywhere, from bottled water to food to air. According to recent estimates, people consume tens of thousands of these particles each year, with unknown health consequences. Now, researchers reporting in the American Chemical Society's Environmental Science & Technology found that people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have more microplastics in their feces than healthy controls, suggesting that the fragments could be related to the disease process. NR-2022-01-03

Property Management Companies Should Review How They Handle Repairs and Renovations in Housing That Contains Lead Paint - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that the agency will be withdrawing previously published answered to two Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) concerning property management companies (PMC) and their compliance responsibilities under the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule. In their notice requesting comments about the withdrawal, EPA stated that they concluded that the two FAQs had contributed to non-compliance with the RRP rule in rental housing managed by PMCs. PMCs that manage residences constructed prior to 1978 or child-occupied facilities in such buildings should assess how this change will affect their business practices. NR-2022-02-11

Study Calls for More Research and Revised Guidance to Protect Against Forever Chemicals - Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, are often called "forever chemicals," because they do not break down, and are an environmental health issue linked to cancer and other diseases. These synthetic chemicals exist everywhere, including in food, water, dust, and commercial products. People encounter PFAS both off and on the job, particularly those who work in firefighting and manufacturing. NR-2022-02-05

Temporary Waiver to Help Increase the Number of School Bus Drivers - Nationwide, school districts are struggling to provide transportation services, as a result of a shortage of school bus drivers, due to the impact of COVID on the workforce. To help school bus providers that are experiencing a shortage of school bus drivers recruit new hires, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in coordination with the Department of Education, is giving a limited time option (e.g., expires March 31, 2022) that waives the requirements for school bus drivers' candidates to identify the "under the hood" engine components. NR-2022-02-01

The Role of the Industrial Hygienist in a Pandemic - Early in the COVID-19 response effort, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) established a cooperative agreement with the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) to increase the national capacity for occupational technical assistance to employers, workers, and public health officials for workplaces. As part of the cooperative agreement, AIHA updated its guidance document, The Role of the Industrial Hygienist in a Pandemic. A recent post to the NIOSH Science Blog provides information on the background, objectives, and uses of the updated edition of the AIHA publication. NR-2022-02-07

Workplace Fatalities in 2020 Lowest Since 2013 - According to data issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 4,764 fatal work injuries recorded in the United States in 2020, a 10.7-percent decrease from 5,333 in 2019. The fatal work injury rate was 3.4 fatalities per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers. These data are from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI). The 4,764 fatal occupational injuries in 2020 represents the lowest annual number since 2013. In contrast, the 5,333 fatalities the prior year were the most since 2007. NR-2022-01-01

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