Today's News / Occupational Safety

Weekly news round-up

Toxic release sends workers to hospital, Black Friday jitters

Weekly News Round-UpA company president heads to federal prison for occupational safety crimes, sharps injuries among health care workers benchmarked and an asbestos claim transparency victim that has victims’ rights advocates calling “foul” are among this week’s top EHS-related stories as featured on ISHN.com:

LOTO fatality results in citations, SVEP status

Company cited for same hazard in 2012

White Cedar Shingles Inc. has been cited for nine safety violations by OSHA after a worker was fatally injured May 21 while servicing machinery that had not been locked out to prevent unexpected startup.

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CSB: Chemical safety facility improvement is in slow-mo

“Recommendations have yet to be acted upon”

Statement by Christina Morgan, US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) Recommendations Specialist, at a public hearing on Executive Order 13650: Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security, November 15, 2013.

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Electrical contacts: Avoid at all costs

Some electrical contacts are instantly fatal, and up to 40% are ultimately fatal, according Brian James Daley, M.D, associate program director, professor, Department of Surgery, Division of Trauma and Critical Care at the University of Tennessee School of Medicine, Knoxville, Tenn., in his report, “Electrical Injuries.”

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Be ready for OSHA’s Electric Power Transmission and Distribution; Electrical Protective Equipment Standard

It’s been a long time coming. OSHA first proposed updated standards for electrical power transmission and distribution, and electrical protective equipment in 2005. Final rules were scheduled for release early in 2013. There has still been  no final publication, but electrical safety experts say the release date is approaching, based on conversations with DC regulators and the Office of Management and Budget.

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OSH Act violation sends company president to federal prison

Two workers died from exposure to hydrogen sulfide

The former president of Port Arthur Chemical and Environmental Services LLC (PACES) has been sentenced for occupational safety crimes which resulted in the death of an employee. Matthew Lawrence Bowman, 41, of Houston, was sentenced last month to 12 months in federal prison, after pleading to violating the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) and making a false statement.

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How to keep retail workers safe during Black Friday

This is fifth anniversary of trampling death of Wal-Mart employee

It’s that time of year again, when retailers draw unusually large numbers of consumers into stores with deep discounts for an annual shopping binge known as Black Friday. The financial success of the event has motivated retailers to open their doors even earlier, offer bigger sales and advertise heavily.

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320,000+ sharps injuries a year among U.S. health care workers

“A serious occupational risk”

A new survey estimates that 320,000 U.S. health care workers sustain sharps injuries (SI) in hospital and non-hospital settings. The survey by the Association of Occupational Health Professionals in Healthcare (AOHP) found an SI rate of 24 per 100 occupied beds, or 1.9 per 100 full-time equivalents (FTE.)

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Company fined $2+ million for failing to tell workers about chemical risks

The issue: Hexavalent chromium exposure

One of the largest manufacturers of chromium chemicals in the world has been ordered to pay a $2,571,800 for failing to disclose information about the health risks of hexavalent chromium exposure to its workers.

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Toxic release at chemical company affects workers there – and at nearby businesses

Dozens treated for coughing, nausea

A chemical spill at a Carson, California company last night caused eye, nose and throat irritation among dozens of employees. News sources are reporting that a sulfuric acid spill around 9 p.m. at a chemical company affected approximately 70 people working there and at nearby businesses.

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OSHA launches new local emphasis program for industries that use hazardous chemicals

EPA release data will be used to select participants

OSHA is launching a local emphasis program in Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri for programmed health inspections of industries known to use hazardous chemicals and who have reported release of such chemicals to the Environmental Protection Agency. The goal is to reduce occupational illnesses and deaths.

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Controversial asbestos bill draws fire from victims’ group

“One more bureaucratic hurdle that delays compensation”

An asbestos victims’ group says a bill passed recently by the U.S. House of Representatives would make it more difficult for those harmed by asbestos to get compensation.

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Teens finding new ways of using tobacco

CDC: Report "raises a red flag" about e-cigarettes, hookah

Emerging tobacco products such as e-cigarettes and hookahs are quickly gaining popularity among middle- and high-school students, according to a report in this week’s CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Verizon agrees to step up safety training after worker electrocuted

Company reaches settlement with Labor Dept.

Telecommunications giant Verizon has agreed to provide enhanced electrical safety training to its New York field technicians, following the fatal electrocution of a worker in Brooklyn on Sept. 14, 2011.

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U.S. mining deaths down, but many still preventable

Technology could help

Nine U.S. miners lost their lives in work-related accidents from July 1 to Sept. 30 – two fewer than for the third quarter of 2012. Those figures were among the information released recently by the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).

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Lack of training plays role in NYC construction fatality rate

New bill would expand training requirements

Approximately 72 percent of the construction workers killed on the job in New York City died at sites where workers did not participate in state-approved training and apprenticeship programs, according to a report released today by Public Citizen.

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CSB: Fatal explosion came after company ignored warnings

NDK Crystal received special exemption from state of Illinois

An explosion which occurred December 7, 2009, at the NDK Crystal manufacturing company in Belvidere, Illinois, fatally injuring a truck driver at a nearby gas station on the Illinois Tollway, resulted from corrosion in the walls of a pressure vessel, which went uninspected for years. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) released those findings last week in a draft investigation report.

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Changes to NFPA 70E® – What You Need to Know

NFPA ® for Electrical Safety in the Workplace is revised every three years, providing the most up-to-date requirements for safe work practices to reduce exposure to electrical hazards. This program analyzes several significant changes in 70E ® and is designed to clarify the reasoning behind the changes, and assist in determining how the changes impact employees and employers.

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