A government audit gives OSHA’s fatality and severe injury reporting regulation a failing grade; small construction companies get a new safety assessment tool and a survey uncovers shocking workplace violence levels in hospital emergency departments. These were among the top stories featured on ISHN.com this week.

OSH across the USA: LOTO, forklift safety violations

October 5, 2018

Here’s a look at recent OSHA and state-level OSHA enforcement activities across the U.S., from Hawaii to Connecticut, in construction, manufacturing, food processing and other industries.

Advocacy group slams Amazon’s worker safety record

Seven deaths at company warehouses since 2013

October 5, 2018

Amazon, the retail giant which announced this week an across-the-board wage increase to $15 an hour for all employees, must also pay “urgent attention” to workplace safety issues, says the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH).

Safety “live wire” recognized by concrete industry

October 5, 2018

Communication and mentoring are two of the talents that got Tim Manherz, senior vice president of operations at Houston-based TAS Commercial Concrete, a safety award from his industry. The American Society of Concrete Contractors (ASCC) named Manherz this year’s recipient of the ASCC Member Owner Safety Award – an honor that recognizes an owner/executive in the industry who displays a focus and passion for safety, and provides the leadership that creates a best-in-class safety culture.

Increase in trenching deaths spurs (delayed) action by OSHA

October 4, 2018

A Sauganash, Ill. city water department worker dies after an underground trench collapses around him during a routine project. A man dies after he was trapped in dirt up to his waist while working at a home construction site in Washington State. A Smithton, Pa. teenager dies when the walls of a 10-foot-deep trench collapse on him as he helps install a septic system.

From the NIOSH Director's Desk:

Protecting the health of our nation’s coal miners

Dr. John Howard

October 4, 2018

Coal mining is an important part of the U.S. economy. In 2017, about 30% of our electricity was generated by coal-fired power plants. Coal is also used to make steel and in manufacturing many types of products. And anyone who watches the news knows how important the jobs and income provided by coal mining are to our country’s coal mining regions.

Tool helps construction companies evaluate workplace safety

October 4, 2018

There’s a new tool available to help small construction companies and their employees assess and improve their jobsite safety climate. The Safety Climate Assessment Tool for Small Contractors or S-CATsc from the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) lists the eight leading safety climate indicators and related statements.

NTSB: Warning tech could help prevent motorcycle crashes

October 4, 2018

Take a closer look at how motorcycle licenses are granted and develop standards for crash warning systems. These are among the recommendations from a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) assessment of motorcycle crashes on U.S. roadways, which claimed 5,286 lives in 2016.

3 ways music improves workplace mental health summed up in 3 hit songs

J. Harvey

October 3, 2018

Besides breakups and meeting “shawty” on the dancefloor, pop music obsesses over another aspect of contemporary culture: working nine-to-five. Since Elvis Costello penned Welcome to the Working Week in ’77, Dolly’s hit about tumbling out of bed to pour “a cup of ambition” has been streamed 8.46 million times and The Bangles’ Manic Monday dominated the charts in over ten countries.

Audit finds problems with OSHA’s fatality, injury reporting program

October 3, 2018

A blistering new report by the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General (OIG) says that OSHA’s revised fatality and severe injury reporting requirements are failing to produce accurate data, which hinders the agency’s ability to effectively target compliance assistance and enforcement efforts.

Hurricane Florence left stress, anxiety in its wake

October 3, 2018

Picking up the pieces for those who were devastated by Hurricane Florence involves more than discarding flood-damaged furniture or finding a new place to live. In addition to the harming physical health and property, natural disasters can affect mental health as well, according to the American Psychological Association (APA).

Loud noises damage hearing

October 3, 2018

It may seem obvious, but it bears repeating: loud noises can cause permanent hearing loss. And once hearing is gone, you can’t get it back. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) wants to remind people during October – National Protect Your Hearing Month – that noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) can be prevented. According to NIOSH, about 70% of people who are exposed to loud noise never or seldom wear hearing protection.

ER workplace violence takes toll on health care workers

Maureen Paraventi

October 2, 2018

In a busy hospital emergency room, health care professionals administered Narcan to a patient suffering from a drug overdose. The measure revived him, but he was furious with them for interfering with his “high.” He grabbed one of the physicians, Dr. Leigh Vinocur, by the throat and began choking her - an assault that ended only when a radiology technician was able to get the man in a choke hold and subdue him.

A Confined Space blog post

Weekly Toll: September is finished, but workplace deaths go on

October 2, 2018

BROOKHAVEN, Miss. — Two police officers were shot and killed following an early Saturday morning confrontation in Mississippi, authorities said. Warren Strain of the Mississippi Department of Public Safety said at a news conference that the officers were called to a house in the city of Brookhaven at about 5 a.m. for a report of shots fired.

Five safety hazards to avoid in the manufacturing industry

Casey Heigl

October 2, 2018

The manufacturing industry is the beating heart of any strong economy. To keep that heart beating, it is vital for companies to keep their workers safe. Safe workers are happier, healthier, and more productive. Naturally, manufacturing processes involve a large number of hazards. Health and safety regulations have improved immensely over the last century, but accidents can and do still happen every day.

NIOSH identifies workers most at risk for hearing loss and tinnitus

October 2, 2018

Most employers are aware that occupational noise has the potential to cause permanent hearing loss in exposed workers. Less well known, and less studied, is the link between occupational noise exposure and tinnitus.

October is National Protect Your Hearing Month

October 1, 2018

During this year’s National Protect Your Hearing Month—observed each October—learn how to protect yourself, your family and co-workers from noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).

DOL may loosen age restrictions for teen nursing home employees

October 1, 2018

A workers’ advocacy group says a new Department of Labor (DOL) proposal will put teen workers at risk, while the DOL says it will put teen workers to work – yet maintain safety. At issue is the DOL’s action entitled “Expanding Employment, Training, and Apprenticeship Opportunities for 16- and 17-Year-Olds in Health Care Occupations under the Fair Labor Standards Act.”

Mining safety gets $250K boost

October 1, 2018

The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration has awarded $250,000 to four organizations to develop and conduct training programs that support the recognition and prevention of safety and health hazards in underground mines.

Safety concerns a big part of new nursing contract

October 1, 2018

Safety issues are prominent in the new five-year-contract that registered nurses with the California Nurses Association/ National Nurses United (CNA/NNU) at the University of California (UC) just voted overwhelmingly to ratify. Workplace violence, infectious disease protections and safe staffing protections were addressed in the agreement, which covers more than 14,000 registered nurses at five major medical centers, 10 student health centers, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.