OSHA releases its spring regulatory agenda, more tobacco warnings rolled out and the effects of climate change on health were among the top safety and health stories featured on ISHN.com this week.

A FairWarning story

Pesticide use on California farms at near-record levels

Paul Feldman

May 12, 2018

Farmers in California, the nation’s top agricultural state, are applying near-record levels of pesticides despite the rising popularity of organic produce and concerns about the health of farmworkers and rural schoolchildren. The latest figures, released in April by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation and covering 2016, show that 209 million pounds of pesticide active ingredients were used in agriculture.

NIOSH helps first responders reduce fentanyl exposure risk

May 11, 2018

Hazardous material incident response teams responding to a release or spill and law enforcement officers executing search warrants on opioid processing or distribution sites are some of the first responders who risk coming into contact with fentanyl during the course of their work, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

A Confined Space blog post

Full of surprises: OSHA spring regulatory agenda released

Jordan Barab

May 10, 2018

When Spring is in the air, this man’s fancy turns to (where else?) the 2018 Spring Regulatory Agenda to discover what movement OSHA will be planning to move forward (or backward) to protect American workers from injury, illness and death in the workplace.

Tobacco companies ordered to warn of cigarettes' dangers on websites, packs

May 10, 2018

Tobacco companies were ordered last week to place warning statements about their products’ health effects on their websites and cigarette packages – the latest step in a court order they’ve been fighting for 17 years. Altria, its Philip Morris USA subsidiary and R.J. Reynolds have until Nov. 21, 2018 to publish “corrective statements” on five topics about which they had been found to deliberately deceive the public:

“Smart” cockpit could help prevent plane crashes

FAA: “This is not technology of the future - it’s here”

May 10, 2018

Automation which is currently available can help reduce accidents in general aviation (GA), according to the FAA, which is reminding GA pilots that all aircraft flying in designated controlled airspace must be equipped with it by January 1, 2020. Only aircraft that fly within uncontrolled airspace and aircraft without electrical systems, such as balloons and gliders, are exempt.

A Confined Space blog post

Weekly Toll: Nothing new on the workplace death front

Jordan Barab

May 9, 2018

The employee who died in a workplace accident Saturday morning at a chemical plant in North Carolina has been identified, according to WSOC. The victim, identified as 43-year-old Clint Miller, fell 10 feet into an open tank at about 4 a.m. during a loading operation while working at AkzoNobel in Salisbury. “He mixed compounds. He mixed chemicals,” said Clint’s mother, Sandy Miller.

Work Balance + Life Balance = Happiness

May 9, 2018

New research conducted by a doctoral student at Auburn University adds another voice to the growing chorus of experts calling for a better balance between work lives and personal lives. Anna Lorys reviewed studies and found support for strong relationships between work-life balance effectiveness and satisfaction and overall life satisfaction. Her analyses concluded that if individuals perceive themselves to be effective at managing the demands of their work and personal life, and are happy with the balance between their two roles, they more likely to be happier overall with their lives.

How climate change is harming our health

May 9, 2018

From respiratory illnesses to lower birthweight to deaths caused by the “urban heat island effect,” a special supplement recently published by the American Journal of Public Health explores the many ways in which climate change is impacting public health.

Electrical safety code gets update

May 9, 2018

May is National Electrical Safety Month and the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is launching its annual effort to help reduce electrically-related fatalities, injuries, and property loss. This year’s campaign theme is "Understanding the Code that Keeps us Safe," which features resources focusing on the importance of the National Electrical Code and its three year cycle.

Food industry gets more time to update nutrition info

May 8, 2018

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is giving food and beverage manufacturers additional time to comply with labeling requirements that were supposed to take effect this year. The FDA has published a final rule to extend the compliance date for two rules, the Nutrition Facts Label Final Rule and the Serving Size Final Rule, for about 1.5 years.

Airline ignores FAA inspection requests, gets grounded

May 8, 2018

Here’s how an aviation company loses its right to fly: by ignoring the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA has issued an Emergency Order of Suspension against Island Airlines, LLC, of the U.S. Virgin Islands, for not allowing the agency to inspect the company’s aircraft and records. On March 14, 2017, the agency received information alleging the St. Croix-based company was operating a Beech B200 while an inspection was overdue for one of its engines.

OSHA issues direct final rule revising beryllium standard for general industry

May 8, 2018

OSHA has issued a direct final rule (DFR) clarifying aspects of the beryllium standard for general industry as it applies to processes, operations, or areas where workers may be exposed to materials containing less than 0.1% beryllium by weight.

'Call to Action' on mental health and well-being in the workplace

Experts prioritize four projects to improve employee mental health

May 8, 2018

What steps can employers take to reduce the high costs and health impact of mental health issues? An expert Advisory Council has developed a set of recommendations for improving mental health and well-being in the workplace, according to a report in the April Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Workers exposed to asbestos, silica during renovation job

May 7, 2018

OSHA has cited U-Haul Company of New York & Vermont, doing business as U-Haul Moving & Storage at Larkin District, for exposing its employees to asbestos and silica hazards while performing renovation work at its 665 Perry St. storage facility in Buffalo. The company faces $108,095 in proposed fines.

A ProPublica story

Treated like trash

A death. A cover-up. An immigrant meets a terrible end in the Bronx.

Kiera Feldman

May 7, 2018

The body of the young man lay in the middle of Jerome Avenue beneath the elevated train tracks, the scene lit by the neon blue sign above the shuttered El Caribe restaurant. A garbage truck sat mid-turn at the otherwise deserted intersection in the Bronx. Emergency medical personnel arrived, records show, and pronounced the young man dead at 5:08 a.m. on Nov. 7, 2017.

Fifth Annual National Stand-Down Begins today

May 7, 2018

Thousands of worksites will join OSHA and its partners this week for the annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction, with events across the country. Employers and workers will pause during the workday to talk about fall hazards, OSHA compliance, and industry best practices to prevent falls in all workplaces.