IWLA Council Summit & Regulatory Fly-in Event Made a Splash in D.C.

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The 2015 IWLA Council Summit and Regulatory Fly-in left a big impression on Washington, D.C., last week with dozens of attendees coming together to discuss important regulations affecting their businesses. Here is a recap of the highlights.

Food Safety

The summit’s first day featured concurrent council sessions focused on food warehousing, chemical warehousing, and transportation issues. The IWLA Food Council zeroed in on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), specifically the Preventive Controls for Human Rule which will require compliance by Sept. 19, 2016. (Those with less than 500 full or part-time employees will need to be compliant by Sept. 18, 2017.)

The FDA will issue more guidance, but not before the first quarter of 2016. So what exactly do 3PLs need to do? Here are the most basic requirements of FSMA:low res flyin3

  1. Facility registration;
  2. Hazard Analysis & Risk-Based Preventive Controls;
  3. Protection Against Intentional Adulteration;
  4. Food Defense; and
  5. Enhancing Traceability.

All of these elements require extensive recordkeeping. A 3PL will become a conduit for its clients’ records, often seeking records from the client and sending records on to the next. A 3PL must have a food safety plan in place that is updated and overseen by a qualified individual. These plans must contain a series of hazard analysis, preventive control, operation monitoring, corrective action, verification, and reassessment process for all these things.

The FDA recognizes that not all operations, circumstances, or evidence is equal. The agency understands a gray area exists when it comes to prevention controls, analysis, credible evidence of contamination, and other unexpected scenarios. The important thing is that whatever actions are taken must be documented in a 3PL’s records. These must be maintained and accessible for two years. Some IWLA member companies that deal with canned foods or packed/sealed foods may be exempt from FSMA. It is important to verify these exemptions with the FDA before the compliance deadlines.

Chemical & Worker Safety

Sven Rundman, senior industrial hygienist, Office of Health Enforcement OSHA, spoke to the IWLA Chemical Council about hazard communications, injury reporting, the temporary worker initiative, and process safety management.

The next deadline in the updated Hazard Communication Standards rollout is Dec. 1, 2015, as the date when distributors must not ship containers labeled by the chemical manufacturer or importer unless they show the HCS 2012 label. Following that, employers must have an updated labeling system and hazard communication program with any additional employee training by June 1, 2016.

Though the final directive from OSHA is still pending, distributors must show “reasonable diligence and good faith effort” in trying to obtain updated labeling information or a letter of interpretation. This is especially true for those goods that are already in commerce.

OSHA also expanded the list of injuries and illnesses that need to be reported by employers. Employers must report all hospitalizations, amputations, and losses of an eye within 24 hours of the injury. OSHA reported that there are roughly 200 to 250 reports per week and that 40 percent have resulted in an inspection. (See accompanying story about IWLA’s efforts to have this proposed rule withdrawn.)

The temporary worker initiative is designed to equally protect full-time and temporary workers to receive the required training and safety protections. The ruling requires staffing agencies and employers to communicate, coordinate, and collaborate efforts.

OSHA’s Top 10 Most-Cited Standardslow res flyin 2

  1. Fall protection
  2. Hazard communication
  3. Scaffolding
  4. Respiratory protection
  5. Powered industrial trucks
  6. Lockout/tagout
  7. Ladders
  8. Electrical, wiring methods
  9. Machine guarding
  10. Electrical, general requirements

USPS: A Move Toward Warehousing?
Last but not least, IWLA members took time to visit with members of Congress. IWLA’s warehouse logistics industry representatives’ major focus areas included the U.S. Postal Service’s transition into warehousing as an alternative revenue stream. The Postal Innovation Act allows USPS to conduct pilot programs to provide non-postal services include warehousing.  IWLA’s stance on Capitol Hill was that there is an unfair competitive advantage to USPS in the 3PL industry, due to subsidies related to its status. IWLA offered to engage with the USPS to develop and strengthen new opportunities for USPS to expand, particularly in the first- and last-mile capabilities.

Stay tuned for more information on many of these issues as new information comes out. The IWLA Government Affairs Council and the special-interest council leaders thank everyone who attended and made this event successful.

Correction: Thomas Galassi, MPH, CIH, director of enforcement, U.S. Department of Labor and the Occupation Safety Health Administration (USDOL-OSHA) did not speak to the IWLA Chemical Council, rather Sven Rundman, Senior Industrial Hygienist office of Health Enforcement OSHA presented on the topic on his behalf.

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