Weekly News Round-UpMining safety improves, U.S. roadways get safer and key NIOSH programs are once again on the budget chopping block. These were among the top EHS- and public safety-related stories posted on ISHN.com this week.

58 million nonsmokers in US still exposed to secondhand smoke

Although secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure in the United States dropped by half between 1999 to 2000 and 2011 to 2012, one in four nonsmokers -- 58 million people -- are still exposed to SHS, according to a new Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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Ohio plant fails to manage highly hazardous chemicals

Georgia-Pacific Chemicals facing $60,500 in penalties

Workers at Georgia-Pacific Chemicals LLC were exposed to dangerous chemicals, such as formaldehyde and other potential health and safety hazards, because the company failed to implement proper chemical management procedures at its Columbus plant.

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Idaho steel manufacturer cited following fatal forklift accident

Ernesto Paramo never knew his shift on August 4 would be his last, leaving his family and friends to grieve his untimely death. The 30-year-old welder clocked in as he had many times before and then went to work at Superior Steel Products Inc.

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NTSB: Distracted flying probable cause of small plane crash in CO

A Cessna 150 crashed in Watkins, Co. on May 31st of last year because the pilot and his passenger were taking selfies during the flight, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

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Fewer transportation deaths in 2013 – in most categories

Rail deaths increase

Transportation fatalities in the United States decreased by three percent in 2013 from 2012, according to preliminary figures released yesterday by the National Transportation Safety Board. Fatalities in all modes of transportation totaled 34,678 in 2013, compared with 35,796 in 2012. Deaths in marine, aviation, highway and pipeline transportation decreased, although there was a rise in rail deaths.

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NTSB investigators headed to NY train crash site

A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) go team is en route to the site of a fatal train accident that occurred last night north of New York City. NTSB rail investigator Michael Hiller is leading the team as investigator-in-charge.

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MSHA’s Joseph Main reviews five years of progress in miner safety

Assistant Secretary of Labor cites industry compliance at WV Coal Mining Symposium

At the West Virginia Coal Association’s 42nd Annual Mining Symposium in Charleston, West Virginia last week, Assistant Secretary of Labor Joseph A. Main highlighted strategic actions the Mine Safety and Health Administration has implemented in the past five years to better protect miners and positively affect the mining industry’s approach to safety.  

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EPA seeks input on power plant greenhouse gas emissions regulation

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is inviting small businesses, governments and not-for-profit organizations to participate as Small Entity Representatives (SERs) on a Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) Panel for the federal plan that EPA is developing as part of the Clean Power Plan.

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Ashley Furniture: 1,000+ injuries in three years

OSHA has fined Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc. approximately $1.76M after finding that the company has had more than 1,000 worker injuries in past three years, including more than 100 amputations (PDF*) from woodworking machinery.

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NIOSH funding takes a hit in Obama’s budget proposal

AIHA’s Trippler: Budget is “DOA”

As it has in the past, the White House is calling for the elimination of funding for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) Education and Research Centers (ERCs) as well as the institute’s Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing (AFF) program.

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Heavy drinking in middle-age may up stroke risk more than other factors

Drinking more than two alcoholic beverages daily in middle-age may raise your stroke risk more than traditional factors such as high blood pressure and diabetes, according to new research in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.

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Accident kills worker on Taiwan set of Martin Scorsese film

According to news sources, one worker was killed and two others injured Thursday when a ceiling collapsed on a film set for a movie directed by Martin Scorsese. All three victims were Taiwanese citizens.

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New online resource from CDC helps businesses with EHS challenges

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Foundation has developed an online resource that provides businesses and employees with access to resources and information to help improve workforce health and safety, attract and retain high-performing employees and minimize healthcare costs.

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ACGIH® Board ratifies 2015 TLVs® and BEIs®

ACGIH® announced today that its Board of Directors ratified the 2015 Threshold Limit Values (TLVs®) for Chemical Substances and Physical Agents and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs®). The Board also approved recommendations for additions to the Notice of Intended Changes (NIC).

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Indianhead Biomass Services explosion severely injures 2 workers

A second explosion in four months at the Indianhead Biomass Services plant in St. Augustine, Florida has left two laborers severely burned. An OSHA inspection found that two men in their 50s attempted to shut down a sawdust dryer to unclog an outlet vent. This created an explosive environment when smoldering embers ignited the sawdust inside the dryer.

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