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Weekly News Round-Up

February 23, 2013
KEYWORDS climate / hazards / safety / SCBA
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From the safety culture in Texas to salary comparisons of safety professionals to OSHA’s VPP program and the importance of maintenance when it comes to SCBAs, here are the top OEHS-related stories of the week as featured on ISHN.com:

Two workers killed in Texas combustible dust flash fire

Multiple safety violations for three companies

OSHA has cited Watco Mechanical Services, Jordan General Contractors Inc. and JP Electric after a combustible dust flash fire claimed the lives of two workers at a Hockley, Texas work site. Proposed penalties for the three companies total $119,840.
 
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Disruptive behavior in health care endangers workers, patients

When you think of disruptive behavior that occurs in a health care setting, you might think of patients or their family members. However, disruptive behavior among healthcare workers has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years, to the point where the Joint Commission that accredits healthcare organizations now charges institutions who are seeking certification with the responsibility for addressing undesirable behaviors.

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House bill targets deadly dust explosions

Combustible dust protections caught up in red tape

A group of House Democrats introduced legislation this week that aims to protect workers from combustible dust – a fire and explosion threat that has killed or injured hundreds in recent decades.

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Texas safety culture puts profits above safety, says National COSH

Gov. Perry blames energy industry hazards for high worker fatality rate

Texas Governor Rick Perry’s recent assertion that his state’s high on-the-job fatality rate is due to the dangerous nature of the energy industry is being contradicted by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH).

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What price beauty?

Cosmetics manufacturer faces $53K in OSHA fines

A company that manufactures products for the cosmetics industry has been cited for 20 serious violations for conditions at its manufacturing plant in Dayville, CT.

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TX oil worker fatalities and safety violations go hand in hand

Long hours and massive equipment increase danger

Since 2009, eleven employees working for drilling companies and related industries died in accidents that could have been prevented, according to a story in the San Antonio Express-News.

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Cadmium and lead linked to hearing loss in U.S. adults

Even low levels can damage hearing

Low levels of two common metals may contribute to hearing loss, according to a study published recently in Environmental Health Perspectives. Researchers found that lead and cadmium – even at levels below national workplace standards set by OSHA – can damage hearing.

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BCSP releases OHS salary survey results

Pay, bonuses, benefits compared

Want to compare your salary with those of your fellow safety professionals? The Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) has released results of a salary survey conducted in conjunction with the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE).

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Union head calls silica rule delay heartless

An estimated 100 died during two years of inaction

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said it’s time for the Obama administration to push forward on a proposed silica delay that has been stuck in limbo at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for two years – long past the required 90 day deadline.

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ACGIH announces 2013 election results

The American Council of Government Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH®) is pleased to announce new members for its 2013 Board of Directors and its 2013 Nominating Committee. In accordance with a recent amendment to the ACGIH Bylaws, ACGIH’s membership elected three (3) members to serve effective immediately as Directors on the Board of Directors.

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How to keep your SCBA in good working order

Effective maintenance vital

Those who use a Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) can run into problems with this life-saving device if it not properly maintained. “Correct inspection, cleaning, upkeep, and service procedures are all vital to ensure optimum SCBA operation,” writes Jaclyn Krah, MA, in a recent NIOSH Science Blog post.

Read More


OSHA issues warning about landscaping amputation hazards

Unguarded stone-cutting machines pose risks

OSHA's latest Safety and Health Information Bulletin warns landscaping employers and workers of the hazards involved in using stone-cutting machines and explains methods to eliminate or reduce the risk of injury when operating these types of machines.

Read More


Public health experts ID four key health issues for Obama to address

Gun violence prevention tops the list

As President Obama embarks on his second term, the American Public Health Association (APHA) is urging him to press forward on four major issues that carry tremendous public health implications: gun violence prevention, climate change, public health funding and implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

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Climate change crisis outpacing green investment

Fossil fuel infrastructure cited

SocialFunds.com reports that sustainable investors, more than most of the major stakeholders in what it calls the “rapidly unfolding climate change crisis,” want corporations to account for unsustainable business practices and advocate effective legislative and regulatory measures.
 
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Non-regulators: The world’s top NGOs (non-governmental organizations)

The Global Journal based in Switzerland, has published an exhaustive list of the 100 most powerful non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the world, from among 450 NGOs in 27 countries. Here are the top ten:

Read More


Silica rule advocates use online petition to drum up support

Long overdue review languishes in OIRA

Frustrated by delays in the review of a proposed silica rule, occupational health advocates have launched  an online petition meant to compel the Obama administration to make good on its promise to support the U.S. labor force.

Read More


VPP under the microscope again

Do OSHA national emphasis programs work?

The Department of Labor Office of the Inspector General (OIG) plans on investigating several programs within OSHA in 2013, according to Aaron Trippler, government affairs director of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA). The OIG will be taking a look at the OSHA Voluntary Protection Program (VPP).

Read More


OSHA is staring at a 5% budget cut – but how and where?

Automatic spending cuts to take effect March 1

The top of the charts' number one issue of immediate consequence in Washington is that strange word – sequestration, according to Aaron Trippler, government affairs director of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA).

Read More


Risk of lung cancer death among women rises dramatically

“If women smoke like men, they will die like men”

Female smokers have a much greater risk of death from lung cancer and chronic obstructive lung disease (COLD) in recent years than did female smokers 20 or 40 years ago, reflecting changes in smoking behavior according to a Special Article published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

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Obama’s green quarterback eyed for top EPA post

Gina McCarthy known for listening to all sides

Speculation is mounting that outgoing EPA chief Lisa Jackson will be replaced by Gina McCarthy, the EPA’s assistant administrator for air and radiation for the past four years.

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How to keep your SCBA in good working order

Effective maintenance vital

Those who use a Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) can run into problems with this life-saving device if it not properly maintained. “Correct inspection, cleaning, upkeep, and service procedures are all vital to ensure optimum SCBA operation,” writes Jaclyn Krah, MA, in a recent NIOSH Science Blog post.

Read More


OSHA issues warning about landscaping amputation hazards

Unguarded stone-cutting machines pose risks

OSHA's latest Safety and Health Information Bulletin warns landscaping employers and workers of the hazards involved in using stone-cutting machines and explains methods to eliminate or reduce the risk of injury when operating these types of machines.

Read More


Climate change crisis outpacing green investment

Fossil fuel infrastructure cited

SocialFunds.com reports that sustainable investors, more than most of the major stakeholders in what it calls the “rapidly unfolding climate change crisis,” want corporations to account for unsustainable business practices and advocate effective legislative and regulatory measures.

Read More


Non-regulators: The world’s top NGOs (non-governmental organizations)

The Global Journal based in Switzerland, has published an exhaustive list of the 100 most powerful non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the world, from among 450 NGOs in 27 countries. Here are the top ten:

Read More


Silica rule advocates use online petition to drum up support

Long overdue review languishes in OIRA

Frustrated by delays in the review of a proposed silica rule, occupational health advocates have launched  an online petition meant to compel the Obama administration to make good on its promise to support the U.S. labor force.

Read More


VPP under the microscope again

Do OSHA national emphasis programs work?

The Department of Labor Office of the Inspector General (OIG) plans on investigating several programs within OSHA in 2013, according to Aaron Trippler, government affairs director of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA). The OIG will be taking a look at the OSHA Voluntary Protection Program (VPP).

Read More


OSHA is staring at a 5% budget cut – but how and where?

Automatic spending cuts to take effect March 1

The top of the charts' number one issue of immediate consequence in Washington is that strange word – sequestration, according to Aaron Trippler, government affairs director of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA).

Read More

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