Today's News

Weekly news round-up

PSM standard to change, poultry workers may have to move even faster

Weekly News Round-UpOSHA’s silica rule takes a step ahead, Canadian investigators issue a hazmat transportation safety advisory and health PSAs that outperformed expectations were among the top EHS-related stories featured this week on ISHN.com:

Healthier workforces may lead to a healthier bottom line

Study suggests link between “culture of health” and financial performance

Companies that build a culture of health by focusing on the well-being and safety of their workforce may yield greater value for their investors, according to a study published in the September issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (JOEM), official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).

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New program teaches students workplace safety

A new program from the ministry of education is attempting to educate students about safety in the workplace in an effort to reduce the amount of Saskatchewan youth who become injured on the job.

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OSHA’s proposed silica rule published in Federal Register

Deadline for submitting comments is Dec. 11

OSHA’s notice of proposed rulemaking for respirable silica has officially been published in the Federal Register, which ushers in the next phase of the process: public input. The public is strongly encouraged to participate in the process of developing a final rule.

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Worker burned, company hit with $185,560 in fines

Packaging Corporation of America has history of worker injuries, fatalities

A double worker fatality in 2012 and a triple fatality in 2008 did not result in the abatement of hazards at Packaging Corporation of America facilities; seven of the 30 citations issued recently after a worker was injured on the job were for repeat violations.

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Traveling hazmats need better documentation, says TSB

Canadian, U.S. regulators called upon to make changes

In the wake of the deadly July 6 train derailment and explosion in Lac-Mégantic, Québec, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has issued safety advisory letters to Transport Canada and the United States Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, asking regulators to review the processes for suppliers and companies transporting or importing dangerous goods to ensure the properties of the goods are accurately determined and documented for safe transportation.

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Did White House choose chemical industry interests over public health?

The Obama administration’s withdrawal last week of two pending EPA proposals that would have helped inform the public about potentially dangerous chemicals showed showed that it was catering to the interests of the chemical industry, according to the National Resources Defence Council (NRDC). The group said the move undermines public health efforts.

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OSHA considering regulatory changes to fix “gaps” in PSM standard

If OSHA follows through with its recently unveiled new regulatory agenda, employers can expect several changes to the Process Safety Management and Flammable Liquids (PSM) standard that will likely affect their operations, according to Arent Fox, a Washington, D.C. law firm that handles occupational safety and health issues.

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Petition urges OSHA to issue standard for poultry, meatpacking production speeds

High rate of repetitive motion injuries reported

A petition sent to OSHA and the USDA by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH) and the Southern Poverty Law Center calls on OSHA to improve worker safety in poultry and meatpacking plants by issuing new work speed standards.

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Georgia company’s citations cover the spectrum

Violations stem from combustible dust to PPE to confined space

Total Building Services Group in Marietta, Georgia was cited for ten safety and health violations after a recent OSHA inspection conducted under the agency's Site-Specific Targeting Program, which directs enforcement resources to workplaces with higher-than-average rates of injuries and illnesses.

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CDC: 100,000 quit smoking due to hard-hitting PSAs

Results were more than double the goal

An estimated 1.6 million smokers attempted to quit smoking because of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) “Tips From Former Smokers” national ad campaign, according to a study released by the CDC.

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Report: Proposed budget cuts to OSHA would reduce enforcement, inspector training

“The agency is stretched too thin”

Proposed budget cuts to OSHA would have a significant – and negative – impact on OSHA’s ability to safeguard the health and safety of American workers, according to a report by the Center for Effective Government.

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Heat claims life of Texas oil worker

Company penalized less than $7,000

An employee engaged in drilling operations on the rig floor of a drilling site in Big Spring, Texas in June was overcome by heat and rushed to a hospital, where he died. An OSHA investigation into the fatality resulted in the man’s employer, Abilene-based Heartland Drilling, Inc. being cited for exposing workers to hazards associated with excessive heat.

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What does an argument on a construction job site cost?

Study: About $11,00 per dispute

A Michigan State University researcher has quantified something rarely measured in studies about productivity in the construction industry: the cost of arguments.

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Get regulatory info on chemicals with new EPA web tool

Allows comparisons by use, effects

The EPA has launched a web-based tool, called ChemView, to improve access to chemical specific regulatory information developed by EPA and data submitted under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

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E-cigarette use more than doubles among U.S. teens from 2011-2012

CDC: Could start them on a lifelong addiction to nicotine

The percentage of U.S. middle and high school students who use electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, more than doubled from 2011 to 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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Senator urges quick action on coal dust exposure rule

"Coal companies have made a war on their own future"

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., is urging the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to move quickly on a U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) final draft rule that would reduce the permissible exposure limits (PELs) for respirable coal dust in mines.

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It’s easy to overlook eye safety

When eye safety is overlooked, you run the risk of developing a serious eye condition that may lead to permanent loss of vision. Prevent Blindness America (PBA) estimates that approximately 850,000 Americans sustain eye damage each year from injuries at home, at work, or while playing sports. Many of these injuries could be easily prevented by taking the proper precautions and exercising common sense.

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