Safety sensitive workers’ health, the high cost of a trench collapse and an OSHA website breach  were among the stories featured on this week.

Report from abroad

UK contract type leaves workers stressed, unhealthy

A type of employment agreement primarily used in Great Britain may have a negative effect on both the mental and physical health of workers, according to a new study.

Sleep apnea rule rollback draws fire

Occupational health experts are criticizing the U.S. Department of Transportation’s decision to withdraw a rule that would have required workers in safety sensitive jobs to be screened for a sleep disorder that could affect their work performance.

CDC program helps smaller companies invest in employee health

Small- to mid-size employers participating in a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) program increased their investment in evidence-based interventions to improve worker health, according to a study in the July Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Americans say their workplaces are hazardous, hostile

Nearly half of U.S. workers surveyed in a recently released Rand Corporation report say they are exposed to unpleasant and potentially hazardous working conditions.

Standards for law enforcement equipment in the works

A new agreement will support technical standards and equipment certifications – including protective equipment - for professionals who work in law enforcement, public safety, and related fields.

Good news, bad news in trench collapse

Two construction workers who were buried up to their waists in a trench collapse Monday afternoon were rescued and expected to make a full recovery. That’s the good news. The bad news: the rescue efforts could cost the Michigan county in which the incident occurred up to $100,000.

Trump defunds study on mining health hazards

The Trump administration has pulled the plug on a study on how the mountaintop removal mining technique may affect the health of those living near it.

NTSB looking into autonomous vehicle crash

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will meet on Sept. 12, 2017 to determine the probable cause of the fatal, May 7, 2016, crash of a Tesla car near Williston, Florida.

A FairWarning story

Johnson & Johnson hit with record talc-ovarian cancer verdict of $417 million

Myron Levin

A Los Angeles jury today ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay damages of $417 million to a 62-year-old woman who blamed her ovarian cancer on years of using the company’s baby powder for feminine hygiene.

AIHA wins awards for its #IAmIH campaign

The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA®) has won three dotCOMM awards for its #IAmIH campaign, launched earlier this year. The awards include a platinum dotCOMM award for excellence in documentary filmmaking for its first-ever day-in-the-life documentary on an industrial hygienist, a platinum award for the first-ever #IAmIH comic, and a gold award for the campaign's website,

NY paperboard mill cited for training violations

A New York paperboard mill faces $357,445 in proposed penalties for exposing workers to 61 safety and health hazards. OSHA in Syracuse opened an inspection of Carthage Specialty Paperboard Inc., on Dec. 27, 2016, in response to a complaint alleging unsafe working conditions.

Nitrous oxide exposure a potential danger in dentists’ offices

Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is the most common inhaled anesthetic used by dental practitioners. Although considered safe for occasional use in patients, studies show that long-term, work-related exposure may increase the risk of diseases of the nervous system, kidneys, and liver and of miscarriage and infertility. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize exposure of dental workers to nitrous oxide.

A Confined Space blog post

5 killed in Tampa: Playing with fire and workers’ lives

 Jordan Barab

The Tampa Bay Times has published a fascinating and tragic investigative piece on the June 29, 2017 incident where five workers at Tampa Electric — Michael McCort, 60, Christopher Irvin, 40; Frank Lee Jones, 55, Antonio Navarrete, 21, and Amando J. Perez, 56 — lost their lives at the Big Bend Power Station after management forced them to do a procedure that they knew was hazardous.

NYC transit workers share their break rooms with dead bodies

The approximately 50 people a year who are struck and killed by New York City subway trains are often kept in worker break rooms – sometimes for hours – until the city’s medical examiner comes to remove them.

Electronic reporting portal may have been breached

Employers who attempt to access OSHA’s electronic injury and illness reporting portal are being greeted by the following message: Alert: Due to technical difficulties with the website, some pages are temporarily unavailable.

State level OSH enforcement update

Companies in Hawaii, California cited

California OSHA issued six citations and $142,715 in penalties to Crenshaw Manufacturing Inc. in Huntington Beach, after a worker had three fingers amputated while manually loading products into an operating punch press.