Weekly news round-up
The costs of occupational injuries, a presidential order to make communities around chemical facilities safer and the most dangerous states for workers are among this week’s top EHS-related stories featured on ISHN:
More than half of first-year players developed high blood pressure during the season
College football players, especially linemen, may develop high blood pressure over the course of their first season, according to a small study in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation. Researchers documented higher blood pressure levels among 113 first-year college players. Only one player had already been diagnosed with hypertension before the season and 27 percent had a family history of hypertension.
Goal: to make it cheaper and easier to incorporate safety improvements
An Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC), convened by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), has recommended a broad range of policy and regulatory changes that it believes could significantly improve the safety of general aviation aircraft while simultaneously reducing certification and modification costs for those aircraft.
Executive Order gets approval from CSB, AIHA
President Barack Obama has issued an Executive Order intended to improve chemical facility safety and security in coordination with owners and operators.
By Dave Johnson
Firefighting operations can inadvertently increase the chance of a combustible dust explosion if they: Use tactics that cause dust clouds to form or reach the explosible range; use tactics that introduce air, creating an explosible atmosphere; apply incorrect or incompatible extinguishing agents; use equipment or tools that can become an ignition source.
Thousands of Industrial Safety & Hygiene News subscribers jumped online to vote in ISHN’s 2013 Readers’ Choice Awards between March 1 and May 1, 2013. The results are in, and ISHN Publisher Randy Green has released the list of winning entries.
Ergonomic analysis plays a role
In many work-related injury claims, the prevailing cause of the injury is called into question by healthcare professionals who commonly help determine if a claimed injury was truly the result of a task performed on the job, or factors such as existing medical conditions or lifestyle habits are to blame.
Chemical is used in degreasing, dry cleaning, furniture manufacturing
OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health today issued a hazard alert to urge employers that use 1-bromopropane (1-BP) to take appropriate steps to protect workers from exposure. "The use of 1-bromopropane has increased in workplaces over the last 20 years," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health.
By Dave Johnson
More than seven months after a train derailment and chemical spill forced more than 700 people from their homes in Paulsboro, N.J., the borough remains ill-prepared to respond to a similar or worse accident, officials told federal investigators, according to various news reports.
Echo Lake Foods faces $150,000 in fines
Echo Lake Foods Inc. has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration with 27 safety violations carrying fines of $150,000. Multiple violations of OSHA's process safety management standards for facilities that use highly hazardous chemicals were found at the company's Burlington and Franksville frozen food production plants.
By Dave Johnson
Consider the relative health risks in the selection of the type of wood used. Use for example the information in the publication ‘Less dust’ of the European social partners in the wood industr.
Several methods, no consensus
About $1,250 billion -- or 4% of annual worldwide GDP -- is absorbed by the direct and indirect costs of work accidents and occupational diseases, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO).
Worker killed by exploding barrel
OSHA has cited SCR Construction Co. Inc. of Richmond, Texas with 17 safety violations and placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program following the death in January of a worker. The worker was killed when the flammable barrel he was torch cutting exploded at the employer's maintenance yard in Richmond.
Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and pediatricians are frustrated that large numbers of U.S. teens are not receiving HPV vaccinations – something that can prevent a sexually transmitted disease which is often linked to cancer.
Same occupations, different data
Some states in the U.S. are far more dangerous for workers than others – but they are not necessarily the states where the most dangerous industries are based. Writing in Time Magazine, Gary Belsky describes the surprisingly wide variation in workplace injuries rates from state to state – even within the same industries.
"Falling Off Ladders Can Kill"
Last year, OSHA Director of Construction Jim Maddux delivered a presentation on OSHA’s new campaign to prevent fatal falls at the annual conference of the American Society of Safety Engineers. When he finished, one of the conference leaders rushed over, eager to introduce Maddux to representatives from another agency with a similar mission of stopping falls in construction: Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower.
Cause of explosions unknown
Seven workers were injured last night – three of them critically – when dozens of explosions and a fire ripped through a propane tank servicing plant in central Florida. Residents living within a mile of the facility were ordered to evacuate their homes.
He brings up unsafe conditions, is ignored
If safety is not in your job description, are you obligated to mention unsafe work conditions? That was one of the topics that appeared in the responses to a story featured on the ISHN website on July 18: “Safety pro asks, ‘Who can fight for my rights?’”
Warehouse company allegedly responded with intimidation
Workers at a Mira Loma, California warehouse that ships goods for Walmart launched a two-day strike last week to protest alleged unsafe working conditions and retaliation against workers who complained about those conditions.
Group works to prevent drownings
Despite having a short swimming season, the Great Lakes have a significant number of drownings each year, according to the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project (GLSRP). So far in 2013 there have been 44 drowning deaths; 17 in Lake Michigan, 13 in Lake Erie, 9 in Lake Ontario, 4 in Lake Superior and 1 in Lake Huron.
U.S. stakeholders urged to take an active role
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) are in the process of creating a U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to lead discussions on the creation of a new occupational health and safety (OH&S) standard for global occupational health and safety.