Recent Blog Posts

Mask mandate continues for most California workplaces

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At a marathon public meeting June 3rd, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board unanimously approved a revised Cal/OSHA proposal that allows workers to go maskless in only a few circumstances including:  everyone in a room is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus,  or workers are outdoors and not within six feet of other people, according to an AP report. …

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Your company’s sustainability journey – what to do after the easy work is done

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By Dave Johnson, Phylmar newsletter editor Four out of five leading companies worldwide now report on sustainability in regard to revenue, according to KPMG’s 2020 Survey of Sustainability Reporting. Sustainability reporting has been trending up for decades yet in 1993, KPMG’s first study found a paltry 12 percent of companies published sustainability reports. Now 98 percent of top revenue firms…

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EU proposes risk-based rules for artificial intelligence

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As part of its emerging role as a global regulatory watchdog, the European Commission has published a proposal  for regulations to govern artificial intelligence use in the European Union. The proposal defines four tiers for AI-related activity and differing levels of oversight for each. The first tier is unacceptable risk: some AI uses would be banned outright in public spaces, with specific exceptions granted by national…

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Sustainability accounting: “The biggest disrupter”

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As companies find that customers and investors are looking for more and more disclosures of what they are doing about environmental issues, climate change risks, and diversity and racial justice, accounting firms are starting to provide assurance and attestation services around environmental, social and governance reporting to meet that growing demand, according to Accounting Today. While the Big Four have…

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ECHA News

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ECHA updating guidance concerning REACH information requirements for nanoforms The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is in the process of updating its guidance on the information requirements and chemical safety assessment (IR&CSA) for nanoforms under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation. ECHA has developed three appendices concerning information requirements to provide advice to registrants for use when…

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EPA News

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EPA faces more litigation on legacy asbestos The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization delivered on an earlier notice of intent to sue by filing an official complaint against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over its ongoing risk evaluation of asbestos. ADAO, a leading nonprofit aimed at preventing asbestos exposure, was joined by five other organizations and several public health experts in asking the…

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Biden executive order tells agencies to prepare for climate-related shocks across the economy

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President Biden has ordered government agencies to prepare for climate-related shocks across the economy, as escalating disasters threaten home prices, the value of retirements funds and even the stability of the global financial system. The executive order is the latest indication of how climate change, once dismissed as a distant threat, is already complicating life for Americans. It follows a report from…

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Playbook focuses on caring for the whole employee

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A guide to help employees perform at their best has been created by Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana and the American Heart Association. The Whole Health Matters Digital HR Playbook is a free, online resource that features fresh content every month focused on a particular whole health topic, from health inequities in communities of color to hypertension to…

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Return-to-the-workplace tools for employers large and small emphasize safety

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Businesses are wrestling with the question of when or how (or even why) to return employees to the workplace. Even when the decision is made to reopen the workplace, how it occurs will differ depending on an organization’s industry, employees, physical space, budget, and more. For those who have decided to return employees to the workplace, there are at least five…

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OSHA News

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OSHA proposes new requirements for building stairs, handrails The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has proposed changes to its rule for fall protection in factories, warehouses, and other completed buildings, hoping to end confusion over its requirements for handrails and stairs. If finalized, the changes would make it clear that handrails are required only on open sides of stairs; height requirements for…

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