Weekly News Round-UpBloodborne pathogen exposure at a NY hospital, OSH accreditation and automated safety alerts in the railroad industry were among the EHS stories featured on ISHN.com this week.

Explosive dust at Texas animal feed facility threatens workers

OSHA cites Thomas Moore Feed for 18 violations

Combustible dust – which, left uncontrolled or suspended in the air can explode -- was one of many safety hazards discovered after an inspection at the Thomas Moore Feed facility in Navasota, Texas, by OSHA inspectors. The company with cited for 18 violations and proposed a penalty of $58,100.

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Which conditions show reduced costs with disease management?

Study may help employers target efforts to lower health costs

Asthma, back pain, and congestive heart failure are among the conditions showing reductions in health care costs in one large employer's disease management (DM) program, reports a study in the February Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).

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A NIOSH Science Blog post

Fighting Ebola: A Grand Challenge for Development

How NIOSH is helping design improved PPEfor healthcare workers

By Ronald Shaffer PhD

The current Ebola epidemic in West Africa is the largest in history and is unprecedented in many ways, including the large number of healthcare workers who have been infected while treating patients. The large scale of the epidemic, as well as the two healthcare workers who contracted Ebola while caring for the first case in the United States, has directed particular attention to the personal protective equipment (PPE) used by healthcare workers to reduce their risk of infection.

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Pattern of injuries persists at Ohio manufacturing facility

OSHA cites Burrows Paper for the fourth time in a year

Mere months after two employees were injured by dangerous machines, Burrows Paper Corp. again put workers at risk. Acting on a complaint, OSHA found workers unjamming and servicing machines without proper safeguards during an Aug. 25, 2014, inspection.

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ASSE’s Professional Safety Journal:

Outcomes-based accreditation advances OSH profession

In an age where academic degrees may be literally printed from home, some experts are calling for the development of minimum requirements to accredit academic programs in the occupational safety and health (OSH) profession. 

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Ohio plant worker's death “preventable”

A 49-year-old machine operator was fatally crushed while reaching into an extrusion press to remove unprocessed aluminum parts because his employer, BRT Extrusions Inc., failed to ensure the machine's power was fully off so that it would not turn on during maintenance, a procedure known as lockout/tagout.

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Obama and Congress poised for showdown over oil and gas, climate change regs

A new report says the stage is set for some dramatic confrontations over proposed regulations that will pit the White House and the EPA against a Republican Congress.

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Why don’t younger women recover well from heart attacks?

New study finds that stress may play a role

Stress may partly explain why young and middle-aged women have a worse recovery after heart attack, according to new research published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.

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Report from Europe:

Making occupational illness visible: a call for a coalition between scientists and workers

Some forty trade unionists and researchers coming principally from Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Spain and Italy took part in a seminar organised jointly by the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) and the Belgian association Santé & Solidarité.

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Explosion at Houston steel manufacturer kills worker

Second employee death in a year

A 31-year-old worker was the second person killed in a year at Madden Bolt Corp. when a cutting-table explosion in August 2014 hurled the employee and a steel plate into the air. The plate then landed on the fallen worker, OSHA investigators determined.

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Highway agency takes a hit over safety report on electronic billboards

By Myron Levin

Why did the billboard cross the road? It sounds like the opening line of a corny joke, but it’s actually a question raised by a baffling glitch in a Federal Highway Administration study on the safety of electronic billboards. Billboards that seem magically to have moved from one side of the highway to the other are part of a detailed critique by a former FHWA researcher, who says the federal report is so badly flawed that no one should rely on its conclusions.

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Flimsy hospital laundry bags exposed workers to bloodborne pathogens

New York Presbyterian-Columbia University Medical Center in Northern Manhattan last year replaced linen laundry bags with thin plastic bags that broke and needlessly exposed workers to laundry contaminated with blood, bodily fluids and other infectious materials.

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CSB chief on DuPont LaPorte investigation: “Industry must do much better”

Statement on the US Chemical Safety Board's DuPont LaPorte Investigation by Chairperson Rafael Moure-Eraso and Board Member Manuel "Manny" Ehrlich.

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NTSB to railroad industry: Automated systems can’t replace humans

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued urgent safety recommendations to the Federal Railroad Administration, the Association of American Railroads, the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, and the American Public Transportation Association to help ensure that electronic alertness devices or “alerters” work as intended on trains.

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NIOSH seeks public comment on NORA

Stakeholders are invited to share experiences of the past decade

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is seeking public comment from partners and the public to help evaluate the impact of the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA). Feedback is being accepted until closing of the federal docket on March 24, 2015.

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South Dakota trucking company, driver declared imminent hazards to public safety

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has declared a Mitchell, South Dakota-based trucking company, Lonnie Roth, and separately its owner, Lonnie Roth, as a commercial driver, to be imminent hazards to public safety and ordered the company and the driver to immediately cease all interstate and intrastate commercial operations.

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