A new report shows safety violators running New York City’s most dangerous construction projects; a successful approaching to reducing the incidence of workplace violence in hospitals and dementia prevention pills come under fire for unsubstantiated claims. These were among the top stories featured on ISHN.com this week.

Safety by Design: NIOSH partnership helps protect workers in ambulances

Fast and efficient responses to crash events and disasters depend upon emergency medical services (EMS) workers, who include first responders, emergency medical technicians, and paramedics, as well as firefighters and nurses. Often, EMS workers treat patients in ambulances en route to the hospital, which presents the inherent risk of high-speed travel.

PAPRs should fit both wearer & work environment

Paula Varsamis

In the world of safety lies a plethora of devices and gadgets that offer unique capabilities with the aim of protecting end-users. While these devices can maximize one’s protection, safety goes beyond simply donning a device.

Exercise testing helps ID lung damage from dust exposure

Lung disease from work-related exposure to coal mine dust can damage different parts of the lungs, including the small airways. When these airways, which resemble twigs branching off the trunk of a tree, are damaged, breathing can become significantly difficult.

Data-driven approach may reduce violence to hospital workers

A worksite intervention using unit-level data on violent events can lead to lower risks of patient-to-worker violence and injury to hospital staff, suggests a study in the January Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).

Report finds safety violations at most NYC construction sites

A new report identifies an “astounding” increase in worker fatalities in New York State and New York City, as well as safety violations at 90 percent of construction fatality sites. "Deadly Skyline: An Annual Report on Construction Fatalities in New York State,” released by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH), alleges that that employers routinely violate legal regulations with impunity. 

NJ concrete co. exposes workers to airborne silica

County Concrete Corp. of East Orange, New Jersey is facing $88,544 in penalties after OSHA inspectors found multiple safety and health violations at the company. Foremost among them: employees were exposed to silica above the permissible limit as they cleaned concrete mixers. OSHA cited County Concrete for these same hazards in 2013.

Stay warm this winter with FR protection plan

Chill factor

 Benita Mehta

As we reach the cold depths of winter, it’s important to consider workplace hazards and FR protection. Consider a winter PPE plan for workers in cold-weather areas who may be exposed to arc flash and other conditions that require FR protective clothing.

OSHA issues best practices for workplace anti-retaliation programs

OSHA has issued Recommended Practices for Anti-Retaliation Programs to help employers create workplaces in which workers feel comfortable voicing their concerns without fear of retaliation. The recommendations are intended to apply to all public and private sector employers covered by the 22 whistleblower protection laws that OSHA enforces.

Rural Americans at higher risk of death from five leading causes

A new CDC study demonstrates that Americans living in rural areas are more likely to die from five leading causes than their urban counterparts. In 2014, many deaths among rural Americans were potentially preventable, including 25,000 from heart disease, 19,000 from cancer, 12,000 from unintentional injuries, 11,000 from chronic lower respiratory disease, and 4,000 from stroke.

W.V. worker dies after being struck, pinned by truck

A teenaged oil company employee was killed last week in Tyler County, West Virginia when he was struck by a truck, then pinned between the truck and a sand silo, according to news sources. Nineteen-year-old Hunger D. Osborn was acting as a spotter for a tractor-trailer that was backing up to off-load sand when the accident occurred Thursday morning at an oil well pad.

Grant will help AIHA grow the next generation of OSH pros

American Industrial Hygiene Association’s (AIHA®) efforts to grow the next generation of occupational safety and health professionals has gotten a boost in the form of an Innovation Grant from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) Foundation.

Okla. manufacturer wracks up 30 OSHA violations

A complaint of unsafe working conditions led OSHA inspectors to discover the safety and health of employees at a well-known Oklahoma truck bed fabricator being placed at risk amid nearly two dozen safety and health violations.

Young male motorists targeted by new railroad crossing safety ads

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has launched an ad campaign aimed at young male motorists – who tend to ignore railroad crossings and try to cross the track ahead of an oncoming train. The “Stop! Trains Can’t” ad is the latest in a two-year effort by DOT to reduce accidents and fatalities at railroad crossings around the country. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) have partnered in the nationwide effort.

Low levels of manganese in welding fumes linked to neurological problems

Current safety standards may not protect workers adequately

Welders exposed to airborne manganese at estimated levels below federal occupational safety standards exhibit neurological problems similar to Parkinson’s disease, according to new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Further, the more they are exposed to manganese-containing welding fumes, the faster the workers’ signs and symptoms worsen.

New EU worker protection directive excludes diesel exhaust

Trade union blames lobbying efforts by industry

European workers are angry about a recent directive from the European Commission that fails to include diesel engine exhaust among the toxins that people should be protected from in the workplace.

Worker suffers severe injuries in trench cave-in

OSHA has cited a Sioux Falls, South Dakota excavating contractor for five serious safety violations after the agency's investigators found a 40-year-old equipment operator suffered severe injuries while working in a 16-foot-deep trench on Oct. 28, 2016.

Brain boosters a gold mine for supplements industry but benefits are hotly disputed

Rick Schmitt

A few years ago, motivated by a family history of dementia, Bea Pena-Reames began using a dietary supplement that promised improved memory and brain health. It was advertised as safe and effective – but that was not her experience. “I’m typically a joyful person, but I couldn’t shake this depression and intense sense of sadness,” said Pena-Reames, 56, a former high school biology teacher who lives in north Texas.