Winnable health battles, a look at the year ahead for safety professionals and an engineer in a fatal train wreck sues his employer. These were among the top stories featured this week on

Tobacco remains top killer in U.S.

Despite the fact that overall tobacco consumption has declined over time, tobacco use continues to be the leading preventable cause of death and disease in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Is your footwear program the right size?

Employees have various point of sale options

John Eliszewski MS, ASP

According to the National Safety Council’s (NSC) Injury Facts®, 2016 Edition, there were 43,570 foot injury cases involving days away from work in the United States in 2013.

Likely Secretary of Labor nominee raising concerns

Worker safety advocates are challenging the likely next Secretary of Labor to address job safety issues during his Senate hearing. Immigrant reform advocates question whether he’ll defend the interests of American workers.

Settlement makes 100 worksites safer

A long compliance battle between OSHA and a nationwide terminal company has ended with the company agreeing to improve forklift safety at more than 100 of its freight terminals.

Senate bill includes mental health reform

The 21st Century Cures Act, passed Wednesday by the Senate, will result in much-needed reform of the nation’s mental health system, according to the American Psychological Association (APA) and the APA Practice Organization.

Feds set training standards for new truck, bus drivers

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced a Final Rule establishing comprehensive national minimum training standards for entry-level commercial truck and bus operators seeking to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or certain endorsements.

OSHA looking into standard for preventing healthcare workplace violence

OSHA has taken the first steps in rulemaking on a possible standard to prevent workplace violence in healthcare and social assistance settings. The agency has issued a Request for Information on whether to propose such a standard and has scheduled a public meeting on Jan. 10, 2017, in Washington, D.C., to discuss strategies for reducing incidents of violence in these workplaces.

How more law enforcement officers could survive shootings

Wearing body armor could save the lives of law enforcement officers yet most opt not to wear it, according to new research published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (JOEH).

ASSE President's message

We are all safety leaders

Thomas F. Cecich CSP, CIH

In October, ASSE hosted its annual Leadership Conference. The conference aims to equip society officers with the knowledge and skills they need to lead the member communities for which they have volunteered and been elected to serve.

Sick food workers behind many foodborne illness outbreaks

Hundreds of the foodborne illness outbreaks reported in the U.S. can be traced to one cause, according to the CDC: food workers who come to work sick. Ill employees have been implicated in foodborne illness outbreaks caused by at least 14 different germs.

2017 will be a challenging year for pros

Time to do some selling

Dan Markiewicz, MS, CIH, CSP, CHMM

2017 will be a particularly challenging year for occupational safety and health program improvement.

Report from Europe

Scientists denounce the ‘manipulation of science’

In an op-ed article featured in the French daily newspaper Le Monde on November 30, some 100 scientists condemn the strategies employed by the chemicals industry in order to influence European Union (EU) legislation on endocrine disruptors. 

CDC reports “winnable battles” results

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released the final report on the Winnable Battles program, an effort to make the biggest health impact for the most Americans in the shortest time.

Doctors should be measuring this, says wellness professor

Medical professionals should review their patients’ aerobic fitness — just as they do other vital signs — to help people manage their health, urges Lenny Kaminsky, a nationally renowned health and wellness researcher for the College of Health at Ball State University.

How to stay healthy this winter

Tips from the American Heart Association

For most Americans, December is the time of year to celebrate the holidays with friends and family. Thanksgiving might be in the rearview mirror, but December brings with it many other reasons to celebrate. And as we all know, where there’s celebration there’s often food, and lots of it.

Oakland blaze is worst in a decade

The death toll from last week’s fire at a converted warehouse in Oakland, California is at 36 but may go higher, as crews continue to search through the debris for more victims.

It’s National Miner’s Day

Today is National Miner’s Day, officially proclaimed as such by Congress in 2009. The designation is intended to focus attention on mine workers, who perform one of the most dangerous jobs in America. Miners put their lives at risk each and every day as they contend with health and safety issues as well as their uncertainty of the future.

National database to reveal CDL drug, alcohol test results

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a final rule that establishes a national drug and alcohol clearinghouse for commercial truck and bus drivers.

Violence, pathogen hazards at Pa. health care facility

After receiving a complaint about employees at a Pennsylvania health care facility being exposed to workplace violence, OSHA enforcement personnel found that hazard along with potential exposure to bloodborne pathogens.

Engineer in fatal train crash sues railroad for $10 million

The engineer who fell asleep on the job, just before his train derailed in the Bronx, killing four people, is suing his former employer for $10 million dollars. More than 70 people were injured in the 2013 crash of a Metro-North train.