Total energy consumption in the manufacturing sector decreased by 17 percent from 2002 to 2010, according to data released today by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Manufacturing gross output decreased by only 3 percent over the same period. Taken together, these data indicate a significant decline in the amount of energy used per unit of gross manufacturing output. The significant decline in energy intensity reflects both improvements in energy efficiency and changes in the manufacturing output mix. Consumption of every fuel used for manufacturing declined over this period.

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OSHA Injury and Illness Prevention Program (I2P2)

OSHA’s injury and illness prevention program rule (known as I2P2) has been the agency’s top regulatory priority. It has been under development for almost three years. The next step would be for OSHA to begin the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) process, in which the agency would solicit input from affected small business entities. This is key step in developing OSHA regulations.

An I2P2 is a program whereby employers take the initiative to “look for and address” workplace safety and health hazards. Most I2P2 programs have some form of the following elements: Management Leadership; Employee Participation; Risk Identification and Prioritization; Hazard Control; Education and Training; and, Evaluation and Continuous Improvement. There is significant concern in the business community that no matter how often the employer trained employees, even if safeguards were put in place; it would not be enough if an accident happened. Some are calling it a 20/20 hindsight standard.

With respect to the I2P2, we anticipate OSHA will be engaging in a formal rule making process to implement an I2P2 standard for all businesses. The first step in this process is to convene a small business representative panel to review a draft proposed rule and then to comment on that draft. This process usually takes approximately 60-90 days. Based on the regulatory agenda from 2011, this process was to have taken place last year at this time, but OSHA did not convene the panel. We anticipate the panel to convene anytime and for the process to start back up again, but we are still waiting. For now, everything remains the same.

OSHA has guidance on its website about injury and illness prevention programs in general and you can find that at the link below. We will certainly keep you posted as things develop.

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Innovative Die Castings Wanted! Submit Your Casting for the International Die Casting Design Competition Today

To be a winner in today’s economy, you must meet and even exceed expectations. In a competitive global market, customers take notice of the best. NADCA knows that competition improves the competitor. With its annual Die Casting Competition, it recognizes and rewards the outstanding casting designs of the year.

Entering and winning is one of the best ways to gain visibility with leading decision-makers. The competition is open to aluminum, magnesium, zinc die castings and other alloy families. Any number of castings may be entered. However, a separate entry form is required for each casting or assembly of castings. In addition, the metal surface cannot be improved or concealed by tumbling, shot blasting, coating or other surface treatments.

Judging is conducted by an independent panel of experts from the die casting industry, with no ties to eligible companies. The four equally weighed criteria are ingenuity of casting/product design; overall quality; cost savings; and market-expanding potential. Winning castings will be displayed during the 2013 Die Casting Congress and Tabletop in Louisville, KY and winners will be honored during the Die Casting Design Luncheon. NADCA’s Die Casting Engineer Magazine, NADCA’s Website and the NADCA Design Website will also feature the winning castings.

This competition helps promote increased use of die castings by recognizing and publicizing outstanding designs. For more information on the 2013 International Die Casting Design Competition please visit, email Dan Twarog at The deadline to submit your casting is June 17, 2013. Don’t hesitate!

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