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Weekly news round-up

October 13, 2012
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Weekly News Round-UpHere were the top stories related to occupational health and safety featured this week on www.ishn.com:

Lack of sleep linked to 274,000 workplace accidents a year

A new study suggests that occupational safety is influenced to a large degree by what workers do – or don’t do – before ever coming in to work.

Researchers at Harvard Medical School in Boston surveyed more than 10,000 people in the U.S. and found that that insomnia is responsible for 274,000 workplace accidents and errors each year, adding up to $31 billion in extra costs.

Study participants who reported having insomnia said they caused accidents or made errors at work that cost at least $500, such as getting into a vehicular accident while on the job, or causing an…Read more>>


Why workers aren’t wearing PPE

The need for safety equipment when performing hazardous tasks is undisputed, yet U.S. workers continue to take risks by failing to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when it is needed.

In a Kimberly-Clark Professional survey released today, 82 percent of safety professionals said they had observed workers in their organizations failing to wear required PPE during the past year. Respondents also cited compliance as the top workplace safety issue in their facilities—further…Read more>>


European nano safety review slammed as inadequate

A nanomaterial review meant to quell concerns raised by European legislators fails to propose a strategy for protecting nanotechnology workers, says the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI).

The Second Regulatory Review on Nanomaterials, published recently by the European Commission, aims at assessing the implementation of EU legislation for nanomaterials and respond to issues raised by the European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee.

However, the ETUI is sharply critical of the work, charging that it will not result in protecting workers who handle or come in contact with nanomaterials.

The ETUI finds that:

“The whole logic behind REACH registration dossiers is flawed as the description of each nanomaterial and the information submitted by the registrants under REACH is insufficient and not…Read more>>


Construction safety advisory committee gets new, old members

Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis has appointed four new members and re-appointed two current members to the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health. They will serve two-year terms and represent the interests of the public, employers, employees and government.

Two members represent the public:

Jeremy Bethancourt, co-owner and program director, Arizona Construction Training Alliance, Scottsdale, Ariz. (new)

Letitia K. Davis, director, Occupational Health Surveillance Program, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, Mass. (current)…Read more>>


GRI reports record feedback on sustainability guidelines

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) says record amount of feedback received from sustainability experts, organizations and professionals on the next generation of the GRI’s Sustainability Reporting Guidelines reflect a growing interest worldwide in sustainability reporting.

GRI produces a comprehensive sustainability reporting framework that is widely used around the world. GRI is now working on the next generation of its Sustainability Reporting Guidelines – G4. As part of the development process, GRI held two Public Comment Periods (PCPs). The first, held from August to November 2011, aimed to…Read more>>


Interactive map shows heat-related deaths across U.S.

Although temperatures have turned frosty in many parts of the U.S.,OSHA is not letting up on its effort to raise awareness about the risks of heat illness for outdoor workers. The agency has produced an interactive, online Heat Fatalities Map that is a visual representation of heat-related fatalities in the U.S. between 2009 and 2012.

“It's a reminder that water, rest and shade are vital to providing a safe and healthful environment when working outdoors in the heat,” according to the agency.

For each fatality, basic information about the type of workplace, work task, and work conditions is…Read more>>


No LO/TO at Ohio plastics company

OSHA has cited Podnar Plastics Inc. in Kent, Ohio with seven safety violations, including one willful, for failing to ensure that a mold machine's point-of-operation was guarded. OSHA opened an inspection in June after receiving complaints alleging hazards at the facility, which manufactures plastic containers. Proposed penalties total $64,400.

Five serious violations involve…Read more>>


From ISHN Global:

China ‘s worker safety apathy exacts terrible toll

A lift at a construction site killed 19 workers after it plummeted 30 floors in freefall. The accident reportedly occurred when a cable broke, causing the metal contraption to plunge 328 feet (100 metres) down the tower. All building work in Wuhan city, central China, was halted while the municipal government conducted security checks.

All of those who died were decorators working on the building, according to state broadcaster China Central Television.

Work safety is a big problem in China, where regulations are routinely ignored. Although the government says it is taking measures to reduce fatalities, more than 75,500 people died in…Read more>>

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