Veterinarians face a hazmat risk when treating animal patients, truck stops don’t offer healthy options to truckers and OSHA says it’s going after worksites with high injury and illness rates. These were among the occupational safety and health stories featured on this week.

OSHA launches program to target high injury, illness rates

October 19, 2018

OSHA says it will zero in on establishments with high injury rates with a Site-Specific Targeting 2016 (SST-16) Program that will use information electronically submitted by employers for calendar year (CY) 2016. The program will target high injury rate establishments in both the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors for inspection.

Infant among fatalities from truck-bus crash

October 19, 2018

Although the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has not yet determined a probable cause for a 2017 traffic accident in New Mexico that ultimately killed 8 people, a preliminary report on the incident indicates a tire problem with the truck that was involved.

How construction supervisors can improve their safety leadership skills

October 19, 2018

Annually, thousands of construction supervisors take the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 30-hour outreach-training program to learn how to identify and control occupational hazards. However, until recently it did not include content on leadership.

Safety professionals, industrial hygienists

AIHA releases updated lists of OEHS consultants

October 18, 2018

The American Industrial Hygiene Association® (AIHA) has released the updated Consultants Listing, a searchable print and online directory of its consultant members. Users can search for industrial hygienists and other occupational and environmental health and safety (OEHS) professionals by state and specialty. This list is free of charge for the public and provides users with access to 370 companies who specialize in over 32 OEHS practice areas. 

A FairWarning story

With rise in chemotherapy for pets, higher risks for veterinary staff

Stuart Silverstein

October 18, 2018

During a 2006 biopsy of a worrisome growth on his thyroid gland, while a needle was still lodged in his neck, Arizona veterinarian Brett Cordes was surprised by a question from his endocrinologist. The doctor, Cordes said, “asked me if I handled chemotherapy and hazardous drugs” at work, and he acknowledged that he did.

Behavior based safety, training guide workplace safety efforts

Manufacturer shares VPP story

October 18, 2018

Some companies may be reluctant to invite OSHA into a plant voluntarily but Mike DeSoto, chief operating officer of MI Windows and Doors, said the end result is "very worth it." DeSoto spoke at the recent American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) 2018 Fall Conference about the need to implement a culture of workplace safety.

Inside NIOSH:

Some truck stops lack healthy options

October 18, 2018

Long-haul truck drivers routinely sleep away from home, spending long hours sitting behind the wheel. These drivers often depend on truck stops for the opportunity to sleep, stretch, get a meal, and visit the rest room. While most truck stops provide these basics, truck stops often lack exercise facilities, nutritious food, and healthcare, according to NIOSH research published in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

UMWA angry about mine’s removal from POV

October 17, 2018

The Mine Safety and Health Administration’s (MSHA) decision to release a West Virginia mine operator from its Pattern of Violations Notice (POV) is drawing the ire of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA). President Cecil E. Roberts said the release of Affinity mine after five years of being under a POV notice is “a dangerous step in the wrong direction for America’s coal miners” and one that violates MSHA’s own rules of procedure for releasing mines from POV oversight.

Occupational health professionals want respect

October 17, 2018

Healthcare workers should recognize the value of the occupational health professionals (OHPs) who are responsible for their health and safety. That message is coming from the Association of Occupational Health Professionals in Healthcare (AOHP) in the form of a Position Statement on The Critical Role of Occupational Health in Healthcare, which seeks to shed light on the vital role OHPs play in the industry.

OSHA enforcement across the USA: Electrical, machine & hazmat violations

October 17, 2018

An employee at the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) in Austin, Texas, was injured after being ejected from a forklift. OSHA cited the postal service for failing to ensure that forklift operators obeyed traffic regulations. The postal service was also cited for exposing employees to tripping hazards, and failing to label electrical panels and breakers.

Marijuana + prescription pills = 12 fatality crash

October 17, 2018

The cause of a devastating 2017 collision near Concan, Texas between a pick-up truck and a bus came down to items found in the truck’s cab after the crash: marijuana cigarettes and prescription drugs. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has determined that the March 29 accident was caused by the 20-year-old pickup truck driver’s failure to control his vehicle due to his use of marijuana in combination with his misuse of clonazepam, a sedative used to treat seizure and panic disorders.

New website offers hazardous energy control info

October 16, 2018

A new website from the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Manufacturing Sector Council features ways in which businesses and companies can safeguard employees from the release of hazardous energy during service and maintenance activities. This issue was taken up by NORA, the partnership program developed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) which identifies workplace safety and health issues that require more attention and research.

A Confined Space blog post

OSHA weakens workers’ protections against retaliation for reporting injuries


Jordan Barab

October 16, 2018

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a memo Thursday weakening workers’ protection against employer retaliation for reporting injuries and illnesses. Section 1904.35(b)(1)(iv) of the Obama administrations 2016 “Electronic Recordkeeping Rule” told employers that “You must not discharge or in any manner discriminate against any employee for reporting a work-related injury or illness.”

Watch out for eye dangers on the job

October 16, 2018

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 20,000 workplace eye injuries happen each year. Injuries on the job often require one or more missed work days for recovery. OSHA reports that workplace eye injuries cost an estimated $300 million a year in lost productivity, medical treatment and worker compensation.

One worker electrocuted, two who try to help him injured

October 16, 2018

OSHA has cited a Pennsylvania contractor for health and safety violations following an electrical accident on April 12, 2018 that killed one worker and injured two others. News sources said a crew employed by Pipe Contracting LLC was repairing the sewer system when a machine the workers were using touched a 23,000-volt high-tension line.

Swedish study: Digital billboards cause distracted driving

October 15, 2018

A new study concludes that digital billboards attract and hold the gazes of drivers for far longer than a threshold that previous studies have shown to be dangerous. The study, conducted by researchers at the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute found that drivers looked at digital billboards significantly longer than they did at other signs on the same stretch of road

Worker gets the axe after reporting injuries

Fired whistleblower gets $100K in court settlement

October 15, 2018

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern Division of Wisconsin in Green Bay has awarded a machine operator $100,000 in back wages and compensatory damages after his employer Dura-Fibre LLC – based in Menasha, Wisconsin – terminated him for reporting injuries he and a co-worker sustained.

Health of young people at risk

Sales of JUUL e-cigarettes skyrocket

October 15, 2018

Sales of JUUL, an e-cigarette shaped like a USB flash drive, grew more than seven-fold from 2016 to 2017, and held the greatest share of the U.S. e-cigarette market by December 2017. The findings, from an analysis of retail sales data from 2013-2017, were released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in JAMA.

A FairWarning story

Safety agency nixes tracking deaths involving ROVs

"One of the deadliest products on the market"

Eli Wolfe

October 15, 2018

Despite mounting casualties from crashes of recreational off-highway vehicles, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has shot down a proposal to track injuries and deaths involving the popular trail machines.