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On The Horizon - January 29, 2024

Governor Gianforte to President Biden: Pull the Plug on Electric Vehicle

Together with 15 governors, Governor Greg Gianforte today called on President Joe Biden to end his administration’s mandate that two out of every three vehicles be battery electric by 2032.

“While we are not opposed to the electric vehicle marketplace, we do have concerns with federal government mandates that penalize retailers and do not reflect the will of the consumer,” the governors wrote. “Even with deep price cuts, manufacturers’ incentives, and generous government funding, federal mandates on electric vehicles are unrealistic.”

In addition to criticizing the mandate as government overreach, the governors emphasized the lack of adequate infrastructure to support the mandate, and issues with electric vehicle affordability for the American people. Read More

New IC rule will have 'unintended consequences'

The Montana Trucking Association was interviewed on the Department of Labor's new independent contractor rule. See below for article

Montana Trucking Association President Duane Williams said the subjectivity of the rules can stifle entrepreneurship from ICs who might go on to start their own businesses. "I think these rules have a lot of unintended consequences, such as safety," Williams said. "It's not good. We don't like the new rules."

For Jim Burg, owner of Warren, Michigan-based James Burg Trucking Company, being an independent operator helped him build his business, and he views being an owner-operator as a potential stepping stone for others wanting to do the same. Burg started his company in 1984 with one truck as an independent contractor. His company is now a 94-truck operation with a terminal in Michigan City, Indiana. His trucks primarily haul steel for the automotive and manufacturing industries.  Read More

Will's Safety Tip

Eye injuries can be caused by many hazards in the workplace and when carrying out dangerous jobs such as welding. Pressure washing and grinding. Some of the most common hazards are:

  • Flying dust and debris – this can be caused by yourself or a co-worker sanding or working with equipment that omits dust and debris. 

  • Exposure to dangerous chemicals – this is caused by chemicals and other dangerous substances becoming airborne and coming into contact with your eyes.

  • UV exposure – this can be caused by being exposed to welding or working outside in the sun.

  • Blunt trauma to the eyes – this can be caused by hazards such as falling objects or parts of machinery that stick out.

  • Heat exposure to the eyes – this can be caused by getting too close to a co-worker welding or to machinery that emits hot air.

How to Avoid Eye Injuries

These are some great tips for avoiding eye injuries in the workplace:

  • Identify hazards – before carrying out a task, make sure that you identify all of the potential hazards that could cause eye injuries. For every hazard that you identify, put in place safeguards to remove the risk. This can be as simple as doing the job outdoors instead of indoors, or it might be something complicated like having to evacuate all other employees from the worksite while you do the job. If you cannot eliminate major risks or are unsure, stop the job immediately and consult a supervisor.

  • Wear correct PPE – always make sure that you wear the approved personal protection equipment (PPE) when carrying out a job where there is a potential risk of eye injuries. 3 out of 5 eye injuries are caused by people not wearing the correct PPE. Eye safety PPE includes safety glasses, face shields, and goggles. The exact type depends on the job you are doing. For example, when welding, you need to wear a welding face shield, and when working with dangerous chemicals, you should wear goggles that fully protect your eyes.

  • Protect your co-workers – if carrying out a job such as welding, make sure that you put proper barriers up so that your co-workers can avoid UV exposure. If you are going to be carrying out a job where there might be a danger to your co-workers, make sure that you inform them before commencing the job.

  • Follow Emergency Procedures. If something does, unfortunately, get into your eyes, don’t rub or scratch your eye. If you do, rub or scratch your eye, it can make the damage much worse. The correct procedure is to go to your nearest eyewash station or use a saline bottle to rinse your eye out and if necessary, seek medical treatment. If you wear contact lenses, remove them before rinsing your eyes out.

Stay Safe!

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