Weekly news round-up
Toxic release sends workers to hospital, Black Friday jitters
A 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:
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.
“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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
“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.)
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.