OSHA releases a controversial new rule, hotel workers allege hospital hazards in their workplace and – is there a link between low wages and occupational illness? These were among the top stories featured on ISHN.com this week.


From the Director’s Desk

How climate change will affect workers

Dr. John Howard

On April 4, 2016, the U.S. Global Change Research Program released a new assessment of the growing public health threat of climate change. The report, “The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment,” identified the many ways in which climate change is already threatening the health of all Americans and the significant public health challenges it is expected to create.



ASSE: New recordkeeping rule is “a step backward”

Worst employers may report even fewer incidents

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) says the final rule requiring employers in high-hazard industries to submit injury and illness data for posting on the OSHA website will not achieve the goals the agency has set for it.


Feds: West Fertilizer fire was an act of arson

ATF offers $50,000 reward

In a startling development, federal investigators have determined that the deadly and destructive 2013 fertilizer plant blast in West, Texas was no accident.


Are low wages an occupational health hazard?

Raising minimum wage would have health benefits, evidence suggests

Low wages should be recognized as an occupational health threat, according to an editorial in the May Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).


OSHA issues final rule to collect injury, illness data for online posting

OSHA today issued a final rule requiring employers in high-hazard industries to send the agency injury and illness data for posting on the OSHA website. Currently, little or no information about the three million worker injuries and illnesses a year is made public or available to the agency.


SoCal hotel disputes employee safety claims

The hotel that is the subject of a complaint filed by some of its housekeeping employees with the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) was “quite surprised” to learn of the concerns in the complaint.


NIOSH chief updates safety & health challenges

Robot safety, 24/7 connectivity, aging workforce are hot topics

Workers Memorial Day, 2016: Statement by John Howard, M.D., Director, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH):


DOT expands Takata air bag recall

The United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expanding and accelerating the recall of Takata air bag inflators. The decision follows the agency’s confirmation of the root cause behind the inflators’ propensity to rupture. Ruptures of the Takata inflators have been tied to ten deaths and more than 100 injuries in the United States.


After crash, Tenn. trucker found with beer, heroin and Xanax

Feds: He's a threat to public safety

On March 17, 2016, tractor-trailer driver Jason L. Flynn made an illegal turn across traffic, causing an accident that left a passenger car wedged underneath his trailer and its driver in the hospital.



Roofer ignores OSHA inspectors, exposes workers to 3-story falls

Two times in three days, OSHA inspectors witnessed Premier Roofing Company LLC and its sub-contractor Walter Construction LTD exposing workers to falls. On Dec. 21, 2015, OSHA responded after receiving a complaint about employees in danger of falling as they installed shingles on a three-story, multi-family building.



Hotel housekeepers alarmed by bloodborne pathogen exposure

Housekeeping department employees of the Sofitel Los Angeles have filed a complaint with the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) alleging that they do not have the proper equipment to safely handle linen contaminated with blood or to remove used syringes and needles they encounter in guest rooms.