Today's News

Weekly news round-up

August 23, 2014

Weekly News Round-UpA film crew fatality, N95 day and “talking” cars were among the week’s top EHS-related stories featured on ISHN.com.

Michigan truck drivers fired after raising safety concerns

Asphalt Specialists, Inc. ordered to pay $1 mill+ in damages

Asphalt Specialists Inc. has been found in violation of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act for wrongfully terminating a foreman and two truck drivers who had raised safety concerns after being directed to violate U.S. Department of Transportation mandated hours of service for commercial truck drivers.

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MSHA announces $8.3M in state grant funding

The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) will allocate $8,348,423 in health and safety training grants for 46 states and the Navajo Nation in fiscal year 2014.

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Explosion at waste facility leaves worker permanently disabled

Pipe being cut with torch wasn’t vented

Two workers in St. Augustine, Fla. suffered injuries while cutting into a gas supply pipe with a torch when residual gas ignited inside the pipe and exploded due to the pressure. The March 2014 incident at Indianhead Explorations LLC, doing business as Indianhead Biomass Services, permanently disabling one employee and left the other with a leg injury.

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NIOSH’s “favorite holiday” is right around the corner

N95 Day Twitter chat, webinar will focus on preparedness

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has designated Friday, September 5 as N95 Day and will use the event as an opportunity to emphasize the importance of properly using NIOSH-approved N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFR) to substantially reduce the risk of injury, illness and death.

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Employees benefit from natural light, study finds

Sunshine helps with alertness, mood, metabolism

Natural light during the work day may benefit employees by improving their sleep and quality of life, according to a new study. "There is increasing evidence that exposure to light, during the day -- particularly in the morning -- is beneficial to your health via its effects on mood, alertness and metabolism," study senior author Dr. Phyllis Zee, professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, said in a university news release.

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Two work zone crashes in eight days have Minnesota on alert

Two crashes this month involving highway work zones in Minnesota highlight the need for motorists to pay attention and follow directions.

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CDC launches blood pressure control challenge

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has launched a challenge designed to identify practices, clinicians and health systems that have successfully worked with patients to reduce high blood pressure and improve heart health. 

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New research from CPRW advances understanding of construction safety

Fatal falls, lifetime risks

The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) is dedicated to reducing occupational injuries, illnesses and fatalities in the construction industry through research, training, and service programs. The following are recently published journal articles by CPWR scholars:

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Cardiac rehab programs can be vital part of workplace wellness programs

Affordable Care Act provides incentives to offer cardiac rehab in work settings

Through financial incentives and an emphasis on proven health outcomes, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides opportunities to increase the availability of cardiac rehabilitation (CR) programs — including offering CR as part of worksite health programs (WHPs), according to an article in the August Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).

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DOT starts rulemaking process for vehicle-to-vehicle communications

The U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Monday released an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) and a supporting comprehensive research report on vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications technology.

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Have a son or daughter headed off to college?

Make sure their dorm or apartment is fire safe

With the fall school semester around the corner, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reminds students to be mindful of fire safety. September and October are peak months for fires in college housing, according to NFPA research, and the Center for Campus Safety has marked September as Campus Fire Safety Month.

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Georgia peanut processor exposed workers to falls, amputations

McCleskey Mills Inc. has been cited by OSHA for 28 safety and health violations for exposing workers to amputations, falls and other safety hazards. The agency initiated the February 2014 inspection at the peanut processing plant in Rochelle after receiving a complaint. Proposed penalties total $72,553.

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Some jobs harder on the heart than others, report finds

But having to search for work may also cause unhealthy stress

Stress at work may raise your risk of heart attack and stroke, particularly if you work in the service industry or have a blue-collar job, U.S. health officials reported Thursday. But being unemployed might be just as unhealthy, they added.

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Ill. builder shows “consistent reluctance” to follow safety standards

For the fifth time in five years, Miller Building Systems LLC has been cited by OSHA for exposing workers to fall and overhead hazards. In a bit of numeric irony, proposed penalties total $55,000.

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New info available on tractor, harvester hazards

Between 2003 and 2011, 5,816 agricultural workers died from work-related injuries in the United States. Tractor rollovers were the single deadliest type of injury incident on farms.

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Rust-Oleum workers exposed to silica dust, other hazards

OSHA proposes nearly $189,000 in penalties

Rust-Oleum Corp., doing business as Synta Inc., was cited by OSHA for 33 serious safety and health violations for exposing full-time and temporary workers to crystalline silica dust, amputation and electrical hazards. OSHA initiated its inspection in February 2014, following a complaint alleging improper storage of material and inadequate forklift training. The proposed penalties total $188,500.

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Chemical manufacturing: Unsafe workplaces can cost $401 million

Recoup Losses with 8 Steps

By Dr. Scott Harris

If you had $401 million, what would you buy? How about a satellite, a Picasso, and a roller coaster? Or space flights for you and 1600 of your closest friends? Maybe you could give a dollar to every man, woman, and child in the United States and then bankroll a movie about your generosity, starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

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Tesoro Refinery acid spill caused by loose fitting

Approximately 84,000 pounds of sulfuric acid spilled from the Tesoro Refinery earlier this year because of insufficient tightening between a tube and a compression joint at a sulfuric acid sampling station, according to the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB), which investigated the incident.

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Hearing conservation award nominations deadline is Sept. 8

In 2007, The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) partnered with the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA) to create a series of awards for excellence or innovation in hearing loss prevention.

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Public invited to comment on workplace tobacco policy

Smoking still permitted in many workplaces

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is seeking public comment on a draft Current Intelligence Bulletin (CIB) Promoting Health and Preventing Disease and Injury through Workplace Tobacco Policies.

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Georgia film tragedy shows need for tougher penalties, says group

Last week’s decision by OSHA to cite the producers of “Midnight Rider” for willful and serious violations shows that tougher penalties are needed to prevent workplace deaths, according to the National Council of Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH).

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