Extreme weather wreaks destruction through the South, President Trump freezes regulatory actions – including occupational safety standards – and the NIH has new guidelines for parents and pediatricians on how to prevent children from developing peanut allergies. These were among the top stories featured on ISHN.com this week.

Riding the waves of change (in the workplace)

A simple model helps teams adapt

Barbara Ruland

Changes in the workplace could be described as rolling in like sets of waves off the coast. Organizations must be nimble and strong to ride the waves instead of being pulled under. Change is so prevalent in the workplace that SIOP ranked “adapting to change effectively” as #2 on its 2017 Top 10 Workplace Trends List.


Consider different eye protection options for your workplace

George Watlington

OSHA estimates that over three million U.S. workers are at risk for job-related eye injuries and more than 2,000 are actually injured every business day.


ABOVE and beyond

Boston utility workers rescue missing cat

It was a normal January night like any other. Members of Boston Local 103 were doing routine maintenance on an above-ground part of Interstate 93. They had no idea they were about to turn into local heroes. The crew were ringing out some wires they had just pulled in. That’s when they encountered something they had never seen before: a cat stranded on a steel girder, 80 feet in the air. 


Workplace bullying measure on the agenda in Kansas

Kansas Democratic Representatives this week introduced a proposal to reduce workplace bullying, noting that it is increasingly being recognized as a major workplace issue. According to a 2014 survey, 27 percent of workers nationwide reported current or past experience with abusive conduct at work and 72 percent of employers “deny, discount, encourage, rationalize or defend it.”


Medical clinic knowingly exposes workers to asbestos

A Monroe, Wisconsin medical clinic failed to inform maintenance workers that they were being sent into areas containing asbestos – which the company had known about since 2008. The company also failed to provide the workers with equipment which could have protected them from asbestos hazards.


It’s important to evaluate COF to determine footwear’s slip resistance

Robert Petersen

At the time of this writing, no U.S. government agency mandates performance specifications, nor is there any industry consensus defining slip resistance for PPE footwear in the US.


Flash fire kills two oil well workers; company cited

An operator and two servicing companies' failure to control a North Dakota oil well properly led to a flash fire that killed one worker and injured three others, federal investigators have found. A 52-year-old employee of Most Wanted Well Service suffered fatal fall injuries and burns in the June 18, 2016 incident at a Watford City, North Dakota well site.


Severe injuries at Wisc. manufacturer bring on OSHA inspection

Two employees at a Green Bay muffler component manufacturer suffered severe injuries within ten days of each other last year as they operated machinery without adequate safety guards and procedures in place, federal workplace safety investigators have determined.


NIOSH-certified respirator mask remains most popular in healthcare

Now that flu season is officially here, we may feel heightened concern about the cause of our coworker’s, friend’s, or elevator mate’s cough. For healthcare workers, this seasonal concern is of year-round importance.


ASTM to explore development of cannabis standards

An array of industry experts will come together next month to lay down the groundwork for the development of voluntary consensus standards for cannabis. The goal of the gathering: to identify specific standards needs; determine if ASTM International should formally launch a new activity; and, if so, develop and approve title, scope, and structure of a new technical committee.


Standing takes its toll on muscle fatigue

Standing five hours a day contributes lower-limb muscle fatigue, a small study concluded, and may raise the risk for long-term back pain and musculoskeletal disorders, according to WedMD’s HealthDay. Study authors report almost half of all workers worldwide spend more than three-quarters of their workday standing.


A CDC Science Blog post

Wearable sensors: An ethical framework for decision-making

Wearable sensors are all the rage. They give us information about our health, fitness, productivity and safety. However, downsides to this technology are accuracy and security of the data and challenges to personal privacy. How wearable technology is used in occupational safety and health research and practice is evolving.


Ten reasons to wear steel-toed boots

It might be mandatory. OSHA might require that your workplace require its employees to wear steel-toed boots or safety shoes. To be compliant under OSHA standards, some manual labor industries require them to prevent or help injury while on the job.


Equipment manufacturers “excited” to work with Trump

The equipment manufacturing industry is looking forward to working with President Trump, according to Mike Haberman, 2017 Chair of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) and president of Gradall Industries, Inc.


Trump delays beryllium rule – will recent rules be enforced?

OSHA’s beryllium standard, published 11 days before President Trump’s inauguration, is one of the rules delayed 60 days by the Trump administration’s Jan. 20 regulatory freeze and review instructions. Federal agencies are to send no new rules to the Federal Register, withdraw rules sent but not yet published, and delay the effective date by 60 days of any rule published that has not taken effect.


NIH offers guidelines for preventing peanut allergies

An expert panel sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, has issued clinical guidelines to aid health care providers in early introduction of peanut-containing foods to infants to prevent the development of peanut allergy.


South blasted by deadly weekend storms

Southeastern states are picking up the pieces today after a weekend of severe weather destroyed dozens of homes and killed at least 19 people -- 15 of them in Georgia. News sources report that first responders are still searching for victims amid the debris.


NIOSH method classifies jobs by COPD risk

Most people know that smoking cigarettes can lead to severe lung damage, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. What they may not realize is that COPD can occur from exposure to hazardous substances at work as well. At the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), investigators are studying the causes and how to prevent COPD.