A teenager loses control of a ladder – and loses his life. The FDA gets an “F” when it comes to controlling tobacco use among young people. OSHA’s final injury and illness reporting rule gets challenged in court. These were among the top stories featured on ISHN.com this week.

A Confined Space blog post

Workforce Protections sub-committee members set

Jordan Barab

February 1, 2019

The newly christened House Education and Labor Committee has announced its sub-committee assignments for the 116th Congress. The Workforce Protections sub-committee which covers workplace safety and health issues, workers compensation and trade, international labor rights, and immigration issues as they affect employers and workers, will be chaired by Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC). Bradley Byrne (R-AL) will be the Ranking Member.

OSHA’s rulemaking procedure under scrutiny

Teenage health care worker regulation change prompted calls for review

February 1, 2019

The U.S. Department of Labor is investigating whether the U.S. Department of Labor under the Trump administration is following proper procedures when making regulatory changes to worker safety regulations. In a letter to Congressional Democrats, who’d requested an audit of the DOL’s rulemaking process, DOL Inspector General Scott S. Dahl said a review of the “integrity of the rulemaking process” at OSHA was already underway.

February is Cancer Prevention Month

Soy and coffee are healthy, red wine - not so much

February 1, 2019

February is Cancer Prevention Month and the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is using the opportunity to help Americans separate the myths from facts about cancer risk. The good news: approximately 40 percent of all cancer cases can be prevented. According to AICR, the most important ways to reduce your cancer risk (after not smoking) are: eating a healthy diet, being more active each day and maintaining a healthy weight.

Teen roofer electrocuted when ladder touches power line

January 31, 2019

A 16-year-old roofer was killed last year in Kentucky when he lost control of a 25-foot ladder and it made contact with a 7200-volt electric power line, according to Fatality Assessment & Control Evaluation (FACE) by the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center. The incident occurred at a private residential home, when the victim was trying to position an aluminum extension ladder against a roof.

“Bug bombs” pollute – but don’t kill cockroaches

January 31, 2019

“Bug bombs” worsen indoor air quality by releasing toxic chemicals in closed environments – but they’re not killing their intended targets. A new study from North Carolina State University found that total release foggers, commonly known as “bug bombs,” are ineffective at removing cockroaches. Bug-bomb chemicals fail to reach places where cockroaches congregate the most – on the underside of surfaces and inside cabinets, NC State researchers say.

Outdoor workers cope with frigid temperatures

January 31, 2019

While some companies and entities with outdoor workers are wisely suspending their outdoor operations during the deep freeze gripping part of the nation, others don’t have that option. Police officers and firefighters throughout the U.S. remain on the job, answering calls and patrolling as usual. Towing companies are especially busy, since the frigid temperatures are wreaking havoc on car engines and necessitating more jump-starts or tows.

A FairWarning Story

Labor Department waters down injury reporting rule targeted by business

Eli Wolfe

January 31, 2019

A requirement that employers disclose more information about worker injuries to safety officials and the public has been scaled back by the Trump administration. The Labor Department action, reflecting the administration’s broad push to ease regulations on business, weakens an Obama-era initiative to improve safety enforcement and crack down on underreporting of job injuries. The 2016 rule, which had been hailed by safety advocates, drew the ire of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups.

Frigid temps cause fatalities, disrupt travel

January 30, 2019

When the United States Postal Service (USPS) cancels mail delivery, you know the weather is extreme. Large sections of the East and Midwest are shivering under bitterly cold temperatures that have affected mail delivery, caused the cancellation of nearly 1,000 flights at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago and even halted Amtrak train service to and from Chicago.

Report: Feds failing to control tobacco use

FDA gets an "F"

January 30, 2019

According to the American Lung Association’s (ALA) 2019 "State of Tobacco Control" report released today, states and the federal government have failed to take meaningful action in putting in place policies to prevent and reduce tobacco use, the nation's leading cause of preventable death and disease. In addition, youth use of e-cigarettes has reached epidemic levels — rising 78 percent from 2017 to 2018 — setting the stage for another generation of Americans addicted to tobacco products and ultimately more tobacco-caused death and disease.

Outdoor workers at heightened risk during bitter cold

January 30, 2019

With extreme cold spreading across a large section of the U.S., the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is reminding workers whose job requires them to work outdoors in cold, wet, icy, or snowy conditions to “be prepared and be aware” to prevent cold-related illnesses and injuries such as hypothermia and frostbite.

Hand protection market growing fast

January 30, 2019

The industrial safety gloves market is estimated to surpass 9 billion dollars by 2024, according to a new research report by Global Market Insights, Inc. Rising awareness about workers’ wellbeing and the increasing number of occupational fatalities in the manufacturing sector will help drive the industrial safety gloves market penetration. So will standards set by OSHA, ANSI and the European Union (EU).

Atlanta is a "No Drone Zone" during Super Bowl LIII

January 29, 2019

Want an aerial view of the Super Bowl action going on in Mercedes-Benz Stadium Feb. 3? Thinking of sending your drone up into the skies over the stadium that day, so you’ll be able to see the game in a way you can’t see it on your TV screen? Fogeddabout it. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has declared the airspace around Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta is a “No Drone Zone” for Super Bowl LIII, on Feb. 3, 2019 - and during the three days leading up to the event. Defying that rule could get you a $20,000 fine.

Former employers ordered to pay $160K in whistleblower case

January 29, 2019

The U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut has ordered Eastern Awning Systems Inc. – a manufacturer of retractable fabric patio awnings based in Watertown, Connecticut – and its owner Stephen P. Lukos to pay a total of $160,000 to two discharged employees who filed safety and health complaints with OSHA.

Advocacy groups file lawsuit against OSHA’s electronic reporting rule

January 29, 2019

A coalition of advocacy groups have filed a complaint (PDF) with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia over OSHA’s rollback of a provision in its final electronic injury and illness reporting rule, which was issued during the partial government shutdown. Public Citizen, along with the American Public Health Association and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists said in the suit that OSHA “failed to provide a reasoned explanation” for its decision to reverse a requirement that certain businesses electronically submit workplace injury and illness records to OSHA.

Agency reveals effects of shutdown

NTSB gets back to work – but crash evidence has been lost

January 29, 2019

We may never know what caused the 22 highway, aviation, marine and railway accidents that occurred during the partial government shutdown and were not investigated, because furloughed National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators did not physically visit the accidents sites. That, says the NTSB, means “that perishable evidence may have been lost."

A NIOSH Science Blog post

How NIOSH, partners are helping make OSH content accessible to all

John P. SadowskiThais Morata PhDDiana Ceballos

January 28, 2019

Choosing the right final project for a graduate level course can be a daunting responsibility for any instructor. Harvard Research Scientist and Instructor Dr. Diana Ceballos heard NIOSH researcher Dr. Thais Morata share details at a NORA conference about NIOSH’s collaboration with academia and Wikipedia to teach students science translation and knew it was a perfect match.

Is label literacy a key to healthier food choices?

Survey shows links between package information and healthy purchases

January 28, 2019

Health-related factors have a significant impact on the foods people buy. With the seemingly overwhelming number of products on shelves, a new survey offers insights into which information on food labels is most influential — and on how additional information might lead to healthier dietary choices.

Fla. cafeteria exposed workers to chemical hazards

January 28, 2019

OSHA has cited Compass Group USA Inc. – operating as Chartwells Dining – for exposing employees to burn and chemical hazards at its cafeteria in Coral Gables, Florida. The company faces $134,880 in penalties.

Art from heartbreak

January 28, 2019

The New York Philharmonic last week premiered a new multimedia oratorio that uses music and old images and film footage to commemorate one of the deadliest industrial accidents in the history of the U.S. – the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. “Fire in my Mouth,” by composer Julia Wolfe, is sung by a chorus of 146 women and girls, a number corresponding to that of the victims killed in the disaster.