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On May 1, 2023, President Joe Biden’s administration announced its intent to end certain COVID-19 vaccination requirements, including the mandate on federal contractors. According to the announcement, President Biden will soon issue an executive order rescinding vaccine requirements and COVID-19 safety protocols for federal contractors, effective at 12:01 a.m. on May 12.

Intentional, purposeful two-way communication is vital to a successful workday. Daily communication builds resilient relationships and enables a group to accomplish mission-driven tasks with a high degree of safety, quality and effectiveness. Daily toolbox talks and consistent start-up inspections create the environment where both communication and safety coexist successfully. The ABC STEP Safety Management System is designed to help you accomplish this to strengthen your safety culture. 

On May 1, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced a National Emphasis Program to prevent falls for people working at heights in all industries.

On May 1, the U.S. Department of Labor launched its “Mental Health at Work” initiative in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, which includes a new webpage. The initiative will increase awareness of mental health and well-being within workplaces and promote best practices and compliance by employers.

For over 30 years, ABC has helped contractors protect the physical safety of their employees on the jobsite through the STEP Safety Management System. Now the association is expanding on STEP with the introduction of the Total Human Health Initiative, or THHI. THHI “encompasses actions, initiatives and policies that emphasize the health, well-being and livelihoods of workers … [it incorporates] a whole-person approach to engage a person’s body, mind, heart and soul.”

This year marks three decades of the Accredited Quality Contractors program, and 10 ABC members have participated in the program for all 30 years of its existence.

Some would say safety is common sense, others know it’s about relationships and intentional planning, equipping and supporting. When safety isn’t integrated with full communication from the beginning, the workforce could be put at higher risk if time, logistics and budgets are stretched too thin. Incorporate pre-planning for safety in every aspect of the job to ensure your team returns home safely at the end of every shift.

On April 27, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration will hold a virtual meeting of its National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health Heat Work Group from 2 to 4 p.m. ET. The public can register to attend the meeting. OSHA is not accepting comments or requests to speak. Participants from the public will be in listen-only mode.

Safety training, education and professional development are all critical to a top-performing company. These investments can powerfully shape culture, reinforce expectations, provide valuable feedback and equip the workforce to meet or exceed expectations. When people are engaged and equipped in a way that is meaningful to them, they will choose to work safely because they want to. And they will continue to do so if they are supported with proper planning and resources. This creates a strong and effective health and safety culture.

On Feb. 14, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced it will withdraw its proposal to reconsider and revoke final approval of Arizona’s state plan for occupational safety and health. As a result, the state’s plan will remain in place.

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