Workers’ comp adjusts to the opioid crisis, OSHA changes its construction cranes rule and a utility worker is killed by a gas explosion. These were among the top stories featured on this week.


NTSB looks into fiery American Airlines engine failure

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) yesterday opened the public docket releasing more than 500 pages of information as part of its ongoing investigation into the October 2016 uncontained engine failure on a commercial jetliner in Chicago.


EPA gives $175,000 to Okla. for pesticide safety

The EPA has awarded $174,814 to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry to support a wide range of pesticide programs, including enforcement and outreach efforts. The department has authority from EPA to regulate pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act in Oklahoma.


Cancer caregivers suffer from depression, health problems

A new report finds cancer caregivers suffer a steady decline in physical health compared to controls, and that symptoms of depression were the only significant predictor of caregivers’ physical health decline. Writing in Cancer, the authors say assessing and addressing depressive symptoms among caregivers early in the cancer survivorship trajectory may help to prevent premature health decline among this important, yet vulnerable population.


Worker who fell off roof shoveling snow awarded $750,000 from his employer

A 52-year-old Massachusetts worker who will "never walk normally again" after falling off a roof in 2015 was awarded $750,000 from his employer by a Berkshire Superior Court jury Thursday, reports The Berkshire Eagle.


Two workers plunge to their deaths on Scottish windfarms

A worker died after plunging to his death from a turbine at a Scots windfarm. The Spanish man’s death at the UK’s largest onshore wind farm follows the death of a Portuguese worker in Scotland on March 15, 2017.


OSHA changes enforcement of construction cranes rule

OSHA has announced a new enforcement policy that excludes monorail hoists from the requirements of Subpart CC – Cranes and Derricks in Construction, as long as employers meet other OSHA requirements.


From the Director’s Desk

Celebrating 50 years of respiratory research at NIOSH

Dr. John Howard

This month I’m pleased to share with you that 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of occupational respiratory disease research at the NIOSH facility in Morgantown. In 1967 the Appalachian Laboratory for Occupational Respiratory Disease (ALFORD) was established within the U.S. Public Health Service, and in 1971 it became part of NIOSH.


Fall protection not used in 86 percent of fatal oil and gas extraction falls

During 2003–2013, fatality rates for oil and gas extraction workers decreased for all causes of death except those associated with fall events, which increased two percent annually during 2003–2013. To better understand risk factors for these events, CDC examined fatal fall events in the oil and gas extraction industry during 2005–2014 using data from case investigations conducted by OSHA.


AIHA wins awards for its Outreach and Public Awareness program

The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA®) will receive two APEX Awards for Publication Excellence through Communications Concepts, Inc. for its IH Professional Pathway™ program. The program won a Grand Award in the Electronic Media category and an Award of Excellence in the category for Campaigns, Programs & Plans - Membership & Customer.


Gas blast levels house, kills worker

One utility worker was killed and three others injured Sunday by an apparent gas explosion in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The four had been responding to reports of a gas odor in a residential neighborhood near Millersville.

No holiday weekend for NTSB investigators

While most Americans were polishing the grill and shopping for fireworks, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) was responding to six general-aviation airplane crashes, a natural-gas pipeline explosion and an engine fire on a commercial airliner during Saturday and Sunday of the Independence Day weekend.


European workers want more action on MSD prevention

The European Union is being called upon to do more to address musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) - the most common work-related illness in Europe.


A Confined Space blog post

Blame the worker — The error of blaming incidents on “human error”

Jordan Barab

A New York subway train derailed earlier this week, injuring thirty-four riders and striking fear into the hearts of subway riders who had believed their biggest concern was subway delays, not injury or death on the way to work.


Federal workers comp to monitor opioid prescription usage

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs has begun instituting procedures aimed at monitoring and managing opioid prescription usage under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act. OWCP’s Division of Federal Employees’ Compensation provides benefits for federal employees who sustain a workplace injury or illness.


OSHA finds machine safety hazards, silica overexposure at Ohio steel plant

Amsted Rail Company earns SVEP status

Amsted Rail Company Inc., a manufacturer of cast steel freight components, faces $610,034 in proposed penalties from OSHA after agency investigators found workers at its Groveport plant exposed to machine hazards and silica.