Hurricane Harvey Approaching Texas Coast

Most FDA offices near Harvey’s path will be closed. Here’s what to do if yours is not.

FDA’s Office of Emergency Operations is tracking the path of Hurricane Harvey in the Gulf of Mexico, which is expected to make landfall in Texas late Friday 8/25/17 or early Saturday 8/26/17. This storm has the potential for a significant storm surge in coastal areas of Texas, accompanied by heavy rainfall and flooding. Multiple storm surge warnings, tropical storm warnings, and hurricane warnings are in effect along the Texas coast. Hurricane Harvey may also impact Louisiana, which is already dealing with saturated ground from previous rainfall.

The National Hurricane Center’s projected path of Harvey is:

The National Hurricane Center’s projected path of Harvey

FDA personnel in the area of the hurricane and those planning travel to the affected area are encouraged to maintain a state of awareness and take appropriate precautions.

Please refer to Article 20, Section 4 C, of the CBA to learn how to request administrative leave (excused absence) if the office is open but you are unable to make it to work due to hazardous weather or other emergency conditions:

If hazardous weather or other emergency conditions occur during the workday and an administrative order to close the workplace has not been issued, the Employer may grant excused absence for all or part of the workday if the employee provides the supervisor with acceptable written justification that a reasonable effort was made to get to work, but severe weather or other emergency conditions prevented him or her from doing so. The Employer’s decision will be fair and equitable. If the employee has a disability, his or her disability must be taken into account in determining what constitutes a reasonable effort. If the supervisor denies a written request for excused absence, upon request, the denial will be in writing.

OPM Warns of Scam that Targets Federal Annuitants

United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) logoRecently, The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) shared with us information on an aggressive phone scam that is targeting federal retirees. Generally, it is reported that the scammer calls federal retirees, claiming to be an OPM employee, and states that the retiree’s annuity is about to end unless the retiree makes an immediate payment to end a criminal prosecution. Continue reading “OPM Warns of Scam that Targets Federal Annuitants”

FDA National Environmental Safety and Health Committee

Our prime purpose in life is to help others, and if we can't help them, at least don't hurt them.The FDA National Environmental, Safety, and Health Committee (NESHC) will be meeting soon. The NESHC is similar to local environmental, safety and, health (ESH) committees but looks at broader issues across the agency per Article 50 of the CBA,  Executive Order 12196, and OSHA.

The NESHC also supports the local ESH committees. The NESHC is planning to visit two field locations in 2017 to meet with the local ESH committees.

NTEU Chapter 254 Executive Vice President David Foran serves on the NESHC. He has served as a safety inspector and as a member of the Kansas City District and Laboratory EHS Committee since 2010, and currently serves as a member of the Kansas City Laboratory EHS Committee. David has also represented NTEU Chapter 254 in the Kansas City Federal Field Safety and Health Council for many years.

If you have environmental, safety, or health issues that you think need to be addressed at the national level, please contact David.