The ISHN Blog

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ISHN editors and invited bloggers sound off on headline news, controversies and emerging issues.

From MSHA: 2013 – the year that was

January 15, 2014

In 2013, 42 miners died in work-related accidents at the nation's mines, an increase of six over last year. Of those fatalities, 20 were in coal mining and 22 were in metal/nonmetal mining, compared with 20 and 16, respectively, in 2012.


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Stop picking on puny ole OSHA

January 14, 2014

News item: Sen. Chuck Grassley has joined 42 other senators in requesting the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to stop unlawful regulations on small family farms. “OSHA is overstepping its bounds here,” Grassley said.


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I failed as a professor, and it was awesome

January 13, 2014

Last fall, I taught my first collegiate sustainability course for the University of Iowa’s Evening MBA Program. If you’re like me — a recovering perfectionist — you can relate to this story. When environmental issues you care about can often (literally) seem like life or death… the end of the world, etc… then every decision feels like it carries a lot of weight.


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Crossroads of life and death

January 10, 2014

I never made a conscious decision to take up this line of work. In fact, it all happened by chance and coincidence, as so many of life’s bigger decisions do; you reach a crossroads, a path opens up and you think, why not?


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Safety advocate writes Labor Secretary on grain bin safety

January 9, 2014

Dear Honorable Secretary Thomas E. Perez: I am writing in strong support of OSHA inspecting our nation’s Grain Storage Facilities.  Our family has suffered a terrible loss of our son in a grain facility nearly 21 years ago and I have been fighting ever since to make all grain storage facilities a safer place to work.


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New Year’s resolutions for safety professionals

January 8, 2014

Resolution #1: Less Focus On Preaching More On Teaching. Awareness campaigns are important for the unaware. But most workers who ultimately get hurt do so knowing something they know is dangerous, or at very least that they suspected COULD be dangerous. 


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Precursors to safety – Indicators and solutions to weak safety cultures

January 7, 2014

Before an organization begins to curse safety, it is probable that one or more of the following have occurred: regulators with a limited knowledge base of safety have caused grief, a condition of supposed danger has led to an operations shutdown, a series of injuries or a severe injury has caused notable concern.


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Transportation safety – Wear and tear can make the biggest difference

January 3, 2014

Most of us know we should perform regular health checks on our vehicles, but how many of us actually do them? When was the last time you checked the tyres? Or the oil level? Or even the lights?


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OSHA “jump starts” regulatory machine

January 3, 2014

Not quite sure who lit the fire at OSHA but the level of activity at the agency in the last two months is more activity than we have seen in the last several years combined. Now the question is likely to be whether or not any of this activity will result in completed actions. Here’s a look at the current activity:


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Contractor Safety Management – A frontier in safety that must be improved

December 31, 2013

A number of companies have made significant improvements to their safety cultures. Their progress is so dramatic, they often come to the realization that it is highly probable that their next fatality will come from a contractor they hire. To safety leaders, this is not an acceptable risk.


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ASSE's Safety 2013 Review

A photo gallery from the Las Vegas Convention Center, where ASSE’s annual professional development conference was held June 24 to 27. All photos courtesy of the American Society of Safety Engineers.

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