Enforcement of OSHA’s beryllium standard is delayed again, hotel workers demand “panic buttons” and a company in a high hazard industry achieves safety success. These were among the top stories featured on ISHN.com this week.

A NIOSH Science Blog post

Using worker health charts to learn about your workplace

Amy Mobley MEn and Rebecca Tsai PhD

March 9, 2018

Jim manages a manufacturing plant that makes office furniture using plywood and other engineered wood products. Their worksite takes worker safety seriously, and is interested to know if the rate of severe injuries they are experiencing is high compared to injuries occurring at other office furniture manufacturing plants.

A Confined Space blog post

Acosta: who needs government protections in the era of Yelp?

Jordan Barab

March 8, 2018

Yesterday’s House Appropriations hearing on the Labor Department’s FY 2019 budget was a fairly low key — mostly boring — rendition of how well Alex Acosta thinks things are going in Trump’s Department of Labor. I had intended to “live tweet” the hearing, but the Committee’s website was having “technical difficulties.”

Man falls 500 feet to death trying to rescue dog

March 8, 2018

A 67-year-old California man fell off a 500-foot cliff while trying to rescue his dog, authorities said. The Golden Gate National Park ranger said the man’s dog got away from him, and when he tried to go after it he slipped to his death. Long after the fatal fall, the man’s dog continued pacing and barking on a perch, as if sensing something was wrong.

EPA fine for Shell refinery a slap on the wrist, claim safety activists

March 8, 2018

On February 12, the federal government announced a multimillion-dollar settlement with Shell Oil over a long list of air pollution violations at a petrochemical refinery in Norco, Louisiana. In a statement, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said the settlement "demonstrates EPA's dedication" to pursuing pollution violations and protecting public health.

Drilling contractor in Quinton explosion had OSHA violations in past

March 8, 2018

OSHA has launched an investigation into what caused a drilling rig explosion this past January that left five dead in Pittsburg County, Oklahoma. An Oklahoma Corporation Commission investigation report said authorities learned at 8:45 a.m. Monday, January 22, that the well was on fire from an uncontrolled gas release. The report recommended that the operator should kill the well with heavy drilling mud, make sure it is stabilized with mud and cement plugs, and take soil samples by Feb. 23.

Nurses in worse health make more medical errors

March 7, 2018

Nurses who rate themselves as being in suboptimal health are more likely to make medical errors, reports a study in the February Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Nurses who feel their workplace provides good support for wellness perceive their health as better—and thus may be less likely to make errors, suggests the study by Bernadette Melnyk, PhD, RN, of The Ohio State University College of Nursing and colleagues.

Making the skies safer

March 7, 2018

The National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) “most wanted” aviation safety improvement has yet to be resolved, but the collaboration that will lead to that is taking place. That optimistic update on preventing Loss of Control (LOC) In Flight in General Aviation (GA) was provided in a recent NTSB Safety Compass blog post by member Earl F. Weener.

Okla. foundry cuts workers comp costs by $180,000 with safety changes

March 7, 2018

Working around molten metals at temperatures of 1,300 to 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit, employees of T&L Foundry in Glenpool, Oklahoma load metal melting furnaces, form molds for pouring metal into, and finish the final product using grinders and tumble blasters. It is a high-hard industry. The family-owned foundry - which produces non-ferrous castings, ranging from only a few ounces up to 1,000 pounds – was already dedicated to employee safety, but decided to do more.

“Focus Four” campaign to target top construction hazards

March 6, 2018

OSHA last week launched a regional Focus Four Campaign in the Mid-Atlantic States to address the four leading causes of fatal injuries in construction. Throughout the month of March, the campaign will use toolbox talks and outreach events to focus on electrical hazards.

Why employers often get worker wellbeing wrong

Integrating health and safety can lead to greater employee wellbeing

March 6, 2018

A new report from the Campbell Institute indicates not all employers are getting worker wellbeing right, and it could be affecting the sustainability of their business. While many organizations today are focused on wellbeing programs that tackle smoking cessation, weight loss or nutrition – not bad programs in and of themselves – the Campbell Institute report indicates a more multifaceted approach to worker wellbeing can lead to sustainable, and even increased, employee health.

OSHA delays enforcement of beryllium standard

March 6, 2018

OSHA has delayed the enforcement date for its final rule on occupational exposure to beryllium in general, construction, and shipyard industries until May 11, 2018 – a move that angered the United Steelworkers (USW) union. The start of enforcement had previously been set for March 12, 2018. The agency said the 60-day delay will “ensure that stakeholders are aware of their obligations, and that OSHA provides consistent instructions to its inspectors.”

“Good” diet choices can’t offset excess salt

March 6, 2018

An international study suggests other aspects of the diet may not offset the harmful effect of sodium on blood pressure. The study, published in the American Heart Association’s (AHA) journal Hypertension, also reaffirms the need for widespread sodium reduction in the food supply. Researchers reviewed data on sodium intake and intake of 80 nutrients, such as proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and amino acids, that may relate to blood pressure in 4,680 women and men (ages 40-59) in Japan, People’s Republic of China, the United Kingdom and the United States participating in the INTERMAP study.

OSHA makes reducing trenching deaths a top priority

March 5, 2018

An alarming leap in excavation and trench-related fatalities has made reducing them an Agency Priority Goal for OSHA for 2018. The agency plans to accomplish this by increasing awareness of trenching hazards in construction, educating employers and workers on safe cave-in prevention solutions, and decreasing the number of trench collapses.

Contractor has fall hazards at six different worksites

March 5, 2018

OSHA has cited a Palatine, Illinois-based contractor for multiple safety violations after agency inspectors observed employees exposed to fall hazards on half a dozen Chicago-area residential roofing projects between August and November 2017. The company faces $281,286 in proposed penalties.

NIOSH to do free, confidential screenings for coal miners

March 5, 2018

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has begun offering a series of free, confidential health screenings to coal miners as part of the Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program (CWHSP). The screenings are intended to provide early detection of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP), also known as black lung, a serious but preventable occupational lung disease in coal miners caused by breathing respirable coal mine dust.

Vegas hotel housekeepers want “panic buttons” in case of assaults

March 5, 2018

Las Vegas hotel housekeepers negotiating new union contracts with their employers are seeking something New York City hotel housekeepers have had for five years: “panic buttons” they can use to summon immediate help in case they’re assaulted.