A workplace tragedy in Oklahoma, states with the best traffic safety laws and what that extra weight does to your feet. These were among the top occupational safety and health stories featured on ISHN.com this week.

CSB to investigate fatal well explosion in Oklahoma

January 26, 2018

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board says it will move forward with a full investigation into Monday’s fatal gas well explosion near Quinton, Oklahoma. Five workers were killed in the blast, which was followed by a fire that destroyed the drill site. Seventeen workers survived. Most had no or minor injuries; one was flown to a hospital in Tulsa for treatment.


Engineer of derailed Wash. train claims he didn’t see speed limit sign

January 25, 2018

The engineer who was in control of an Amtrak passenger train that derailed Dec. 18 in DuPont, Washington as it sped into a speed-restricted curve told investigators he didn’t see the speed limit sign that was posted two miles ahead of the curve. Three passengers were killed and 62 injured in the derailment.


January 25, 2018

Cigarette smoking among U.S. adults over 18 decreased from 20.9 percent in 2005 to 15.5 percent in 2016 - yet nearly 38 million American adults smoke cigarettes in 2016, according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Worries about health, health care costs stressing Americans

January 24, 2018

Two-thirds of U.S. adults (66 percent) cite the cost of health insurance as a stressor for themselves, their loved ones or in general, when asked about specific health issues that cause them stress. This stress about the cost of health insurance seems to affect Americans at all income levels.

A FairWarning story

Turning point in fight to stop child deaths from window blinds

Rick Schmitt

January 24, 2018

Sales of most corded window blinds and shades – products blamed for the strangulation deaths of more than 300 U.S. infants and toddlers since 1981 — will come to an end late this year. The decision last week by the window covering industry to quit selling the items in the U.S. and Canada is a milestone following decades of stopgap safety measures and public clamor to do more to protect children.

Five fatalities in oil rig explosion

January 24, 2018

The bodies of five oil rig workers who were missing after a gas well explosion in Oklahoma on Monday have been recovered. "All five of the missing workers have been located," Pittsburg County Sheriff Chris Morris said at a press conference. "The remains will be transported back to the medical examiner's office for identification, and we will continue to secure the site and the scene until the investigation is complete."


Filtering facepiece respirators: To reuse or not to reuse?

January 24, 2018

Improper donning and doffing combined with reuse resulted in more viruses transferred to the hands during scenarios simulating the use of filtering facepiece respirator. The importance of covering a cough or a sneeze to prevent spreading germs to those around us, often using the crook of an elbow, is something that most of us learned before starting school. Healthcare providers typically wear personal protective equipment, such as the filtering facepiece respirator, to protect both themselves and their patients.

A Confined Space blog post

Weekly toll: explosions, electrocutions and three more tow truck drivers

January 23, 2018

AMES, Iowa — An Ames company has confirmed one of its employees died as a result of an accident on the job. At approximately 4 p.m. on Thursday, Danfoss employee John Lavery, 45, was working at the company’s 13th Street location. A preliminary investigation revealed the safety hood on a motor testing operation fell and struck Lavery.

A FairWarning story

California and 5 other states get best ratings for highway safety laws

Paul Feldman

January 23, 2018

Amid a resurgence in U.S. traffic fatalities now taking roughly 100 lives a day, an advocacy group today issued a report card identifying states that do the most, and least, to improve highway safety. The ratings by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety credited six states — California, Oregon, Washington, Louisiana, Delaware and Rhode Island—with having the most protective road safety laws.

Five Okla. oil workers missing after blast

January 23, 2018

Five oil rig workers in Oklahoma are still missing after a gas well explosion yesterday morning, according to Pittsburg County Sheriff Chris Morris. The blast and ensuing fire occurred at 8:45 a.m. News sources say emergency responders who were attempting to battle the blaze were hampered by several subsequent explosions. The blaze was extinguished by Monday night.

American Airlines workers say uniforms made them sick

January 23, 2018

American Airlines is changing vendors for its employee uniforms, after employees sued over health problems they allege were caused by the garments. Thousands of flight attendants and crew members complained of symptoms ranging from caused hives, swollen faces, wheezing, vertigo, headaches and severe respiratory problems. A lawsuit filed against American Airlines and Twin Hill – the manufacturer of the uniforms – was filed in federal court last fall by the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), the union representing more than 25,000 AA flight attendants.

Protect your family from radon

January 22, 2018

It’s naturally occurring and it’s just about everywhere, so we are all exposed to it. People who are regularly exposed to high radon levels, though, are at increased risk of lung cancer – especially if they smoke. Because radon is odorless and colorless, the only way to determine if your home is safe is to conduct testing.

Obesity and your feet

January 22, 2018

Obesity is an ever-increasing problem in American society. Currently, up to one third of the U.S. population is considered obese, defined as a body mass index greater than 30. Many studies have found a direct link between increased BMI and foot problems.

AFL-CIO blog post

Donald Trump: A year of making workplaces more dangerous

Kenneth Quinnell

January 22, 2018

It has been a year since Donald Trump took office. Despite promising to be a friend of workers, Trump has spent much of his first year making our workplaces less safe. AFL-CIO Director of Safety and Health Peg Seminario described Trump's actions: