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ISHN Weekly News Round-Up

January 19, 2013
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Weekly News Round-UpFrom noise hazards in foundries and sports venues to sweating manikins, here are the week’s top EHS-related news stories from ISHN.com:

Is your job making you sick?

Canadian study seeks answers

A new study, funded by the Canadian Cancer Society, will examine the human and economic impact of workplace exposure to 44 known or suspected carcinogens and their links to 27 types of cancer. The study's main goals are to quantify - for the first time - how serious the problem is in Canada by estimating the number of new cancer cases and cancer deaths that can be attributed to workplace factors, and also to weigh the economic impact. Read More


Excessive smartphone use can harm health

A new report out of Europe is raising fears that excessive use of smartphones and tablets could cause ergonomic psychosocial problems – especially among people who use the devices as work tools. Read More


BNSF Railway Co. to change policies affecting whistleblowers

The BNSF Railway Co. has signed an accord with OSHA in which the company agrees to voluntary revise several personnel policies that OSHA alleged violated the whistleblower provisions of the Federal Railroad Safety Act and dissuaded workers from reporting on-the-job injuries. Read More


Ohio foundry workers exposed to noise hazards

OSHA  has cited COL-Pump Co. Inc., with 10 health and safety violations, including two willful, for failing to monitor workers' exposure to noise hazards above 85 decibels at the Columbiana foundry. Proposed fines total $56,880. Read More


Why you should test your home for radon

Elevated radon levels found in roughly 1 in 15 homes nationwide

The EPA has a message for you: test your home for radon, fix the problem if you find one – and possibly save your life. As part of National Radon Action Month, the EPA is urging the public to test homes for high levels of the colorless, odorless gas but dangerous gas. Read More


EPA finalizes revisions to clean air standards for stationary engines

Updated rule provides extensive public health protections, slashes costs of compliance

Today, in compliance with settlement agreements, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized revisions to standards to reduce air pollution from stationary engines that generate electricity and power equipment at industrial, agricultural, oil and gas production, power generation and other facilities. Read More


CSB fatal fireworks meeting to be webcast

Want more transparency from your government agencies? How about learning of their work via a webcast? The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazardous Investigation Board (CSB) will make its public meeting in Washington, D.C. on Thursday available to all, through a webcast. Read More


ASSE helps shape Abu Dhabi occupational safety strategy

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) met with Abu Dhabi Environment, Health and Safety Center officials in the United Arab Emirates recently to assist them in developing the country’s first Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Strategy aimed at reducing work-related injuries and fatalities and building a preventative safety culture. Read More


Growth in VPP tails off

By Dave Johnson

The number of federally-approved OSHA Voluntary Protection Program sites has declined in the past two years, after peaking at 1,720 in 2010. As of December 31, 2012, 1,633 sites were enrolled in the VPP. At the end 0f 2011, the number stood at 1,688 sites, according to data posted on OSHA’s web site. Read More


Mass. releases fall prevention info for contractors

The Massachusetts FACE Project—in conjunction with the national Campaign to Prevent Falls in Construction, and with input from local industry and labor safety experts, contractors, and researchers—has updated and published a series of four residential construction fall prevention brochures for contractors. Read More


New research blows the whistle on noise hazards in sports venues

Two papers published in the January issue of Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (JOEH) address noise hazards in a work environment not usually studied for noise hazards: sports venues. Noise controls are often enforced only when workers have been exposed to noise levels beyond recognized standards, and only in workplaces and industries known for frequent noise exposure, such as manufacturing and construction. Read More


Sweating manikins help NIOSH test fabrics for hot work environments

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL),has added sweating thermal manikins to its research efforts aimed at measuring heat transfer through various fabric ensembles of specific types of garments worn in occupations such as firefighting, healthcare, and mining. Read More


ASTM releases Standards for Accident and Disaster Control

A new compilation, ASTM Standards for Accident and Disaster Control, is now available on CD-ROM from ASTM International. The compilation includes 185 of the latest ASTM standards for accident and emergency management from ASTM Committees E54 on Homeland Security; F12 on Security Systems; F32 on Search and Rescue; and F30 on Emergency Medical Services. Read More

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