Weekly news round-up
Cancer and hearing loss rates are down, global demand for respirators is up and France passes a law to help workers with a digital divide. These were among the top stories featured this week on ISHN.com.
A NIOSH Science Blog post
Happy New Year. As we start afresh in 2017 I wanted to share my recent editorial in the British journal, Occupational Medicine, “Occupational health issues in the USA”. The article highlights some of the occupational safety and health issues identified as needing attention by the industry sector groups of the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA).
ISHN’s “EHS State of the Nation” survey reveals goals & priorities
By Dave Johnson
In September and October 2016, BNP Media Research conducted an online survey of ISHN readers, asking many of you and your peers about program goals and priorities for the coming year.
The U.S. Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit against Jasper Roofing Contractors Inc. and its owner/chief executive officer, Brian Wedding, for terminating their safety manager after he cooperated with a safety and health inspection by OSHA. The suit results from an investigation by OSHA's Whistleblower Protection Program.
Despite the fact that they cope with heavy patient loads and hazards like sharps injuries, MSDs and workplace violence, nurses receive no training on stress management and burnout prevention. That, says Elizabeth Scala MSN/MBA, RN, is leading to an “all-time high” in burnout levels in the nursing profession that is exacerbating the nursing shortage and affecting the nation’s health care.
The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) approves of OSHA’s newest white paper. The oldest professional safety organization says “Sustainability in the Workplace: A New Approach for Advancing Worker Safety and Health,” shows that the agency is recognizing the opportunity the corporate sustainability movement provides to encourage better commitment to worker safety and health.
In its annual ‘State of the Air’ report for 2016, the American Lung Association reports that despite the continued improvement in air quality, there are still over 166 million Americans at risk of averse health effects on account of unhealthy air throughout the country.
Nanotechnology is a broad name given to a wide range of technologies and materials that create, manipulate, or use particles that have one thing in common - their size. Nanotechnology (or nanoscience) involves materials that are extremely small and have dimensions roughly between 1 and 100 nanometres (nm).
Hearing loss among U.S. adults aged 20 to 69 has declined over the last decade, even as the population of older Americans continues to grow. These findings, published today in JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery , also confirm that hearing loss is strongly associated with age and other demographic factors such as sex, race/ethnicity, and education.
Acting on a complaint, OSHA officers in June 2016 found employees of one of the Verona, New York area's largest general contractors working in an unprotected 10-foot deep excavation at a suburban New Jersey high school, in violation of federal safety and health laws.
From neighbors and traffic to trains and pets, noise is a part of our everyday lives. But there are serious repercussions when it comes to daily exposure to high noise levels. It’s important to stay aware of how noise can affect you—both physically and emotionally—and learn how you can protect yourself from noise pollution.
What you need to know about...
Final rule to improve tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses
In 2013, OSHA issued a proposed rule to improve tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses through the electronic collection of establishment-specific injury and illness data to which OSHA currently does not have direct access.
The American Heart Association (AHA) is cheering the USDA’s recent memo detailing the next phase of lowering the sodium content of school menus. The memo, which was sent to those responsible for administering school meal programs, provides detailed information about how to meet target two of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, a final rule published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) intended to improve the health of America’s school children.
Air-purifying respirators are many types of negative-pressure respirators which include chemical media and mechanical filters. Positive pressure respirators include powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs). Air-Purifying escape respirators (APER) are used by the general public for radiological, biological, chemical and nuclear (CBRN) terrorism incidents.
Company has high rate of ergonomic injuries
United Airlines baggage handlers will get some protection from ergonomic hazards in the workplace, under what the U.S. Department is calling “a precedent-setting agreement” with the airline. The agreement settles a lawsuit filed by the department on behalf of OSHA to eliminate several hazardous conditions its inspectors identified in United's baggage-handling operation at Newark Liberty International Airport, where United baggage handlers reported at least 622 musculoskeletal injuries from 2011 to January 2015.
France already has a strictly enforced 35 hour work. Now, French workers are getting even more assistance with establishing a work-life balance in the form of a new “right to disconnect” law that requires companies with 50 or more employees to grant their workers the right to not answer emails outside of regular work hours.
A NIOSH Science Blog post
You may have seen water bottles labeled “BPA Free” or heard that certain foods contain BPA. BPA (or bisphenol A) has been in the news over the past several years. BPA is weakly estrogenic; that is, BPA may mimic some of the hormone-like effects of estrogen. BPA is used primarily in making polycarbonate plastic and some epoxy resins. The general population is exposed to BPA mainly through diet.
The United Steelworkers (USW) are praising OSHA for its release last week of the final rule for occupational exposure to beryllium and beryllium compounds in general industry, construction and maritime. “This has been a long time in the making,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard.
When a co-worker severed part of his thumb in July 2014, a food processor at a beef jerky manufacturing plant acted quickly, helping him apply pressure to the wound and using her cellphone to call 911. Before responders could answer, the company's owner ordered her to hang up. Two days later, she was terminated.
Rates differ by gender, race
A steady decline over more than two decades has resulted in a 25% drop in the overall cancer death rate in the United States. The drop equates to 2.1 million fewer cancer deaths between 1991 and 2014. The news comes from Cancer Statistics 2017, the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) comprehensive annual report on cancer incidence, mortality, and survival. It is published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians and is accompanied by a consumer version of the publication, Cancer Facts and Figures 2017.
A NIOSH Science Blog post
Welcome to a new year. Are you ready to set your resolutions for this year? How about starting by learning more about the international Understanding Small Enterprises (USE) Conference, which is being held in the U.S. for the first time this coming October 25-27, 2017. NIOSH is collaborating with the Center for Health, Work & Environment at the Colorado School of Public Health to host USE 2017.