A social services company is held responsible for an employee’s murder in the same week that a bill to prevent workplace violence in the health care and social service industries is re-introduced in Congress. These were among the top stories featured on ISHN.com this week.

Husband reports safety violations, hair stylist gets fired

March 8, 2019

A Pennsylvania hair salon has been ordered to pay thousands of dollars to a stylist who was fired after her husband reported workplace safety and health hazards to OSHA. After an investigation by the agency, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has entered a consent judgment ordering Blown Away Dry Bar and Salon – based in Kennett Square – to pay a $40,000 settlement to the terminated stylist. The legal action resolves a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor.


Flight crew praised for handling of runway emergency

“Uudetectable” malfunction caused plane to slide off the runway into a fence

March 8, 2019

An MD-83 airplane ran off the end of the runway during a rejected takeoff March 8, 2017, because of an undetected mechanical malfunction, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said in a report released yesterday. Seconds after reaching the takeoff decision airspeed of 158 mph at about 5,000 feet down a 7,500-foot runway in Ypsilanti, Michigan, the captain’s attempt to raise the nose and get the plane airborne was unsuccessful and he called “abort.”


NIOSH study IDs prevention strategies for work-related infectious disease

March 8, 2019

The same hierarchy of controls framework used to prevent workplace injuries can help reduce the incidence or spread of infectious diseases that result from exposures at work. That is one of the key findings of a study just published by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), whose researchers reviewed nearly a decade’s worth of infectious disease investigations in workplaces across the U.S. to better understand the range of cases, the risk factors for workers, and the ways to prevent infectious disease transmission on the job.


Employer held accountable after social service worker stabbed to death

March 8, 2019

In a landmark case, the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) has ruled that Integra Health Management, a social service employer, is accountable for failing to protect workers from workplace violence. Integra was cited for safety violations following the tragic death of an employee who was stabbed nine times, then left bleeding on a front lawn after a December 2012 home visit to an agency client with a history of mental illness and violent criminal behavior.


Workplace safety violations across the U.S.A.

March 7, 2019

In Ohio: Musical instrument maker exposed workers to copper dust An Ohio musical instrument manufacturer has been cited by OSHA for exposing workers to copper dust and machine hazards. Conn-Selmer, Inc., is facing penalties of $200,230 for two repeated and seven serious safety and health violations. OSHA inspectors determined that the company exposed workers to copper dust in excess of the recommended permissible exposure levels and machine hazards that included failure to provide machine guarding and adequate controls to minimize exposure.


A FairWarning Story

Dubious record for highway safety agency in public information lawsuits

Eli Wolfe

March 7, 2019

After a Florida driver was killed in a crash in 2016 while his Tesla was in “Autopilot” mode, regulators assured the public that Tesla’s autonomous driving system was safe. An investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that after a key component called Autosteer was added, crash rates in Tesla cars had dropped.


In West Texas, growing oil production comes with deadly highways

March 7, 2019

The fracking boom that’s made the U.S. the world’s top oil producer shows no signs of slowing down. But in Texas, the boom’s had what the state is calling an “unintended consequence," as oilfield highways have become overwhelmed with heavy truck traffic, there’s been an uptick in the number of deadly crashes. Officials are exploring solutions to this ongoing problem.


New guide shows safety students, pros how to advance careers

March 6, 2019

A new eGuide from the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) offers recommendations to industrial hygienists and occupational hygienists on ways to manage and advance their careers – no matter what stage of their career they’re at. The  IH Professional Pathway eGuide (PDF), offers practical suggestions to IH/OH professionals, with advice aligned with three different "tracks": technical, management and leadership. AIHA says the eGuide can be used by college students pursuing a technical course of study – even if they have not yet decided on a specific vocation - or more established professionals, perhaps contemplating a career change.


Free webinar will help you get ready for National Safety Stand-Down

March 6, 2019

The major players involved in holding the 2019 National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction will host a webinar to help would-be participants make the most of the event. Falls are the top cause of construction fatalities and account for a third of on-the-job injuries and deaths in the industry.


Missed connections leave questions in oil worker's death

March 6, 2019

Dennis Mason's body was found, face down, between his truck and a crude oil tank at a well site near Kingfisher, Okla. Investigators immediately suspected he was killed by toxic vapors from the oil. But they weren't able to prove it, because state medical examiners didn't test Mason's blood for petroleum chemicals before declaring his death natural, the result of heart failure. OSHA inspectors had quickly sent word to the medical examiners that they suspected his death was related to his job hauling oil for Sunoco Logistics Partners.


18 seconds of alarm before plane crash

March 6, 2019

According to audio taken from the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) of the cargo plane that crashed near Houston’s George Bush International Airport Feb. 23, “crew communications consistent with a loss control of the aircraft began approximately 18 seconds prior to the end of the recording.” That description from the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) Office of Research and Engineering Vehicle Recorder Division was part of a preliminary report into the crash of Atlas Air Flight 3591, which claimed the lives of the three pilots on board.


Deadly pipelines, no rules

March 6, 2019

There is a network of thousands of miles of pipes underlying the frenzied oil and gas development in the Permian Basin of Texas. Nationally, more than 450,000 miles of such gathering lines snake underground from wells, and reports of death and injury have emerged from Texas to Pennsylvania.


Nebraska Congressman honored for OSH efforts

His leadership has a "bipartisan spirit"

March 6, 2019

U.S. Congressman Don Bacon’s (R-NE) efforts to help protect the nation’s workers have won him recognition from the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) in the form of a Legislative Leadership Award. The award was presented to Bacon on February 26.


How to stay safe when working in freezing temps

Natalie Bucsko

March 5, 2019

When working in freezing temperatures, it always pays to be prepared. Whether you’re working in a year-round cold environment such as cold storage or you’re working construction in the dead of winter, knowing a few cold weather safety tips can help you remain both functional and comfortable on the job.


Seize the opportunities ergonomics can mean for your workplace

Dr. Brent Wells

March 5, 2019

People who work outside or who do the heavy lifting for a living are often jealous of office workers. “They have it so easy!” you hear them say, “They never have to worry about the heat, the cold, or being injured.” While the office temperature is debatable, it is not true that desk jobs carry no risk of injury. The CDC states that in 1999, about 1 million people took time off work to recover from musculoskeletal injuries due to poor economics, costing businesses about $50 billion each year in lost wages and productivity.


ISEA launches new hand protection standard to prevent impact injuries

March 5, 2019

The International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) has released a new standard — ANSI/ISEA 138-2019, American National Standard for Performance and Classification for Impact Resistant Hand Protection — to improve on the impact performance of industrial gloves. The new standard builds upon the widely used ANSI/ISEA 105-2016, American National Standard for Hand Protection Classification.


ASSP names new leaders of key standards committees

March 5, 2019

The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) has announced leadership changes on two ANSI/ASSP standards committees that work to advance occupational safety and health across the country. Voluntary consensus standards promote best practices and prevent worker injuries, illnesses and fatalities.


Worker crushed by beam at San Francisco tunnel project

March 5, 2019

The employers of a worker killed on a light rail tunnel project in San Francisco failed to identify potential hazards and to train workers on safety procedures, according to Cal/OSHA, which has issued $65,300 in penalties in the fatality. The incident occurred last August, while employees were using heavy equipment and tools to work in and around the tunnel.


No forklift training for injured distribution center employee

March 4, 2019

OSHA has cited Hilti Inc. – a hardware merchant wholesaler – for exposing employees to struck-by hazards after an employee was injured while operating a forklift at a distribution center in Atlanta, Georgia. The Plano, Texas-based company faces penalties of $164,802.


Coal company officials charged with lying about Black Lung risks

“West Kentucky miners are about action, not just happy talk"

March 4, 2019

The number of coal company officials charged in a case involving defrauding regulators about black lung disease has risen to nine, according to a recent announcement from the U.S. Department of Labor. U.S. Attorney Russell M. Coleman said Glendal “Buddy” Hardison, the former manager of all Armstrong Coal mines in western Kentucky, is the latest official from thecompany to be charged by a federal grand jury for conspiracy to defraud an agency of the U.S. government by deceit, trickery, and dishonest means.

Workplace violence prevention in healthcare bill generates controversy

March 4, 2019

A bill intended to reduce workplace violence in the healthcare industry is getting strong support from the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) and nursing organizations, but a labor lawyer says it prevents stakeholders from having a say in the rulemaking process. Recently re-introduced by Representative Joe Courtney (D-CT), H.R. 1309 is entitled, "Caring for Our Caregivers: Protecting Health Care and Social Service Workers from Workplace Violence.”