Laser pranksters create real danger in the skies, the construction industry gets a little more time for a big new rule and impalement hazards endanger workers in Texas. These were among the top stories posted on this week.

Oil & gas group says offshore well regs may have unintended consequences

The American Petroleum Institute says it welcomes the federal government’s effort to align regulations for offshore well control with industry standards, but with a caveat: a warning that the unintended consequences of some elements of the proposed rule could make offshore operations less safe.


Hassell Construction fined $424K for egregious safety violations

One minute, a man was working in the 8-foot trench below ground. The next, he was being buried in it. His co-workers came to his rescue, digging the worker out with their bare hands. Moments after they pulled the injured man to safety, the unprotected trench collapsed again. His injuries were serious and led to his hospitalization.


Professional truck drivers offer highway safety tips

With the summer vacation season in full swing, millions of Americans are on the road – roads that they must share with some very large vehicles. Through its Share the Road program, the American Trucking Association is using professional truck drivers to let the public know what they can do to stay safe.


AEM releases underground utility safety video

“Everyone has a part to play” to help ensure underground utility safety and damage prevention. That’s the message of a new video and related online and print resources from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).

Could some cancers start before birth?

UMass Amherst scientist will investigate role of estrogen-mimicking chemicals

A lot of attention has been paid to genetics in breast cancer as disease rates rise, but most women have no family history of the disease, suggesting that there is an environmental risk we don’t yet understand, says environmental health scientist Laura Vandenberg in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.


New DOT rule would improve truck crash protection – at a cost

The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) that is the first step of a larger agency initiative to upgrade the standards for truck and trailer underride crash protection.


OSHA updates procedures for protecting healthcare workers from TB

OSHA has updated instructions for conducting inspections and issuing citations related to worker exposures to tuberculosis in healthcare settings. This instruction incorporates guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, "Guidelines for Preventing the Transmission of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis in Health-Care Settings, 2005*."


Last week’s reports of lasers being pointed at 34 commercial jets as they flew over New Jersey were noteworthy for the sheer number of incidents involved, but unfortunately, are part of a trend that has become all too common. The FAA says last year, it logged 3,894 incidents of lasers pointed at airplanes, all over the country.


47K deaths per year v. billions to remove the substance

The total number of asbestos-related deaths in Europe could peak at 47,000 per year -- 50% higher than previously believed and double the number of deaths caused by road accidents – according to an expert who spoke last month at a conference entitled, Freeing Europe Safely from Asbestos.


Potentially explosive substances discovered when bag was screened

An employee of a California-based manufacturing company checked a bag containing undeclared hazardous material onto a passenger-carrying flight at Detroit Metropolitan Airport on Dec. 16, 2014.


Americans are eating

Too much salt

But study shows we're trying to cut back

Americans consume too much sodium. In fact, the average daily intake among individuals aged 2 years and older in the U.S. is 3,500 mg per day, significantly higher than the recommended daily maximum of 2,300 mg – and that doesn’t even include salt at the table. However, according to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than half of Americans now report watching or reducing the amount of sodium in their diets.


IBEW to OSHA: Investigate potential radiation danger

It’s no secret that telecom employees who climb cell towers for a living have dangerous jobs, but so far, most of the concern has focused on fall risks. The reason for that is clear: in the past decade, more than 90 workers have lost their lives from deadly falls, sometimes from over 1,000 feet.


Ashley Furniture didn’t report amputation

One of 1,000+ injuries in 3 1/2 years at one worksite

A 56-year-old employee of furniture manufacturer Ashley Furniture Industries Inc. had his right ring finger amputated because the company has continued to ignore safety requirements to protect workers from moving machine parts. The company also failed to report the injury to OSHA, as required.


From bites to stab wounds: Company didn’t protect workers who dealt with violent kids

A Birmingham, Alabama social services company was well aware that its employees were being injured by violent clients for several years, yet took no action to protect its workers, according to OSHA, which issued Gateway one general duty clause citation for failing to protect employees from the hazards of physical assault while providing care for adolescent children and teenagers known to exhibit violent behavior tendencies.