The most dangerous jobs in the U.S.; good news and bad news about opioid use and evidence mounts about the hazards of e-cigarettes. These were among the top stories featured on this week.


Roadside accidents in Mich., Ohio leaves construction workers dead, injured

April 5, 2019

A Michigan man is hospitalized with critical injuries after he was struck by a co-worker who was backing up in a construction zone. News sources say Daniel Clark Jr. has collapsed lungs, broken ribs, a fractured pelvis and other injuries. The incident occurred Wednesday morning along I-75, in Troy, a suburb of Detroit. Troy police responded to the accident at around 9:30 a.m. Clark had reportedly started working for the company on Monday.


Two Calif. construction workers hospitalized with Valley Fever

April 5, 2019

Cal/OSHA has issued serious health and safety citations to Underground Construction Co., Inc. of Benicia after two of its employees contracted Valley Fever. The workers were exposed to the fungal disease while using hand tools to dig trenches in Kings, Fresno and Merced counties—areas where the soil is known to contain harmful spores that cause the infection.


From the NIOSH Director's desk:

NIOSH Prevention through Design (PtD) update

Dr. John Howard

April 5, 2019

In 1735, Benjamin Franklin wroteExternal that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” We might think he was referring to health and medicine—not so. Mr. Franklin was recommending a metal enclosure to prevent bits of hot coals from starting a building fire. He also recommended training and equipping firefighters.


ASSP collaborates with Korea OSHA to improve workplace safety

April 4, 2019

The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) and the Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency (KOSHA) have formalized a memorandum of understanding that outlines how the organizations will collaborate on advancing workplace safety and health over the next five years. ASSP President Rixio Medina, CSP, CPP, and KOSHA President Dooyong Park signed the agreement at a global workplace safety and health sustainability event in Paris.


Opioid epidemic is increasing rates of some infectious diseases

April 4, 2019

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is warning of a “converging public health crisis,” as the nation’s opioid epidemic fuels growing rates of certain infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, heart infections, and skin and soft tissue infections. Infectious disease and substance use disorder professionals must work together to stem the mounting public health threat, according to a new commentary in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.


Pallet maker continues to expose workers to wood dust

April 4, 2019

A Wisconsin pallet manufacturer has again been cited by OSHA after a follow-up inspection found employees continued to be exposed to wood dust. Avid Pallet Services LLC faces penalties of $188,302 for repeated, serious, and other-than-serious safety and health violations. Inspectors determined that the Beloit, Wisconsin, pallet manufacturer failed to implement sufficient engineering controls to limit dust exposure, as well as train employees on the health hazards of wood dust.


Travelers cuts opioid use among injured construction workers

April 4, 2019

The Travelers Companies, Inc. reports that it has reduced opioid use by nearly 40 percent among the injured construction workers it has helped, thanks in part to the Early Severity Predictor® model, which helps predict which injured employees are at higher risk of experiencing chronic pain. Additionally, the insurance giant implemented a comprehensive pharmacy management program that monitors drug interactions, excessive dosing and abuse patterns to reduce the risk of opioid dependency.


AIHA presents evidence on airborne contaminants

Second-hand smoke effect found in e-cigarettes

April 3, 2019

E-cigarettes can release airborne contaminants that may affect both the people using them and those nearby. That’s one of the conclusions of a white paper (PDF) that’s just been released by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) – one which reviews current scientific information and evaluates the impacts of chemicals used in e-cigarettes as well as those emitted from them. The resource was developed by AIHA's Indoor Environmental Quality Committee and Risk Committee.


Non-standard workers have lower rates of health insurance coverage

April 3, 2019

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recently published a studyExternal that compared the rates of health insurance coverage among workers in different work arrangements between 2010 and 2015. While rates of health insurance coverage among workers in all categories went up significantly during this time period, substantial disparities in health insurance coverage persisted for workers with non-standard work arrangements.


Construction industry group to hold first EHS conference

April 3, 2019

The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) – the leading association for the construction industry - will hold its first-ever Construction Safety, Health + Environmental Conference on July 23-25, 2019, in Seattle, Washington. The AGC says the conference will “hone in on the most critical safety, health, and environmental compliance and risk issues impacting the business of construction.”


One dead, two injured in Texas chemical plant fire

April 3, 2019

A fire at a Houston chemical plant yesterday morning killed one person, left two with critical injuries and caused residents living within a mile of the facility to shelter in place. It is unclear whether the victims were employees at the plant. News sources say the incident at KMCO plant began when a tank of isobutylene ignited, and the fire spread to an adjacent storage building.


Is changing workforce behind decrease in workers comp claims?

April 2, 2019

A new study by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) to determine if demographic changes are behind the continuing decline in workers compensation (WC) claims has yielded some surprising results. Among them: that the aging of the U.S. workforce is not a factor. According to NCCI, WC claims have fallen by nearly one-third in the last ten years, part of a trend that’s been going on for more than two decades. At the same time, the number of workers who are at least 55 years old has doubled since 2000.


Worker killed by lightning; employer cited by OSHA

April 2, 2019

OSHA has cited C.W. Hendrix Farms Inc. for failing to protect workers from recognized hazards after lightning struck and killed an employee at the Parkland, Florida, agricultural operation. OSHA inspectors determined that Hendrix Farms exposed employees to lightning strikes as they picked vegetables in inclement weather. The company faces a penalty of $12,934, the maximum amount allowed.


A FairWarning Story

Lawmakers question influence of industry at CPSC

Myron Levin

April 2, 2019

Leaders of a House committee have called on the acting head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Ann Marie Buerkle, to disclose her contacts with business groups, citing a “disturbing” report by FairWarning that “suggests you are prioritizing the interests of industry over the safety of consumers.”


Workplace violence claims 4 lives at ND company

April 2, 2019

Law enforcement officers responding to a 9-1-1 call yesterday morning found four people dead at a North Dakota property management business, news sources report. The victims who were discovered at RJR Maintenance and Management have been identified as 52-year-old Robert Fakler, 42-year-old Adam Fuehrer, 45-year-old Lois Cobb and her husband, 50-year-old William Cobb.


AIHA, IAQA update Indoor Air Quality Body of Knowledge

April 2, 2019

The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), in partnership with the Indoor Air Quality Association, has released the updated Indoor Air Quality Practitioners Body of Knowledge (IAQ Practitioners BoK). The BoK outlines the competencies needed in the area of indoor air quality practice. For the past 12 months a task force of highly qualified subject matter experts from AIHA and IAQA collaborated to review this document.


Publication of ISO 45001 handbook expected in 2019

April 1, 2019

Publication of an ISO 45001 implementation handbook is expected by the end of the year as a follow-up to the global occupational safety and health management system standard released in 2018, according to a working group that recently met as part of a five-day ISO Technical Committee (TC-283) meeting in Dallas. The handbook will provide small and medium-sized businesses with detailed guidance on how they can apply the voluntary consensus standard to increase employee safety, reduce workplace risks and improve business outcomes.


Study: Compression-only CPR saves lives

It increases survival when cardiac arrests happen outside of hospitals

April 1, 2019

A Swedish review of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest data shows rates of bystander CPR nearly doubled; compression-only (or Hands-Only CPR) increased six-fold over an 18 year period; and the chance of survival was doubled for any form of CPR compared with no CPR, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.


Most dangerous jobs in the U.S.: The top 20

April 1, 2019

Logging is not only the most dangerous job in America – it’s 31 times more dangerous than the average job nationwide. That’s one of the findings of a study recently completed by AdvisorSmith, which used data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries and the Current Population Survey to determine the most hazardous jobs, based on fatal injury rates.


Two companies earn massive fines for OSHA violations

April 1, 2019

Despite a drop in enforcement and staffing under the Trump administration, OSHA has issued some massive fines in recent violations cases. Dowa THT America Inc., a metal heat treatment company based in Bowling Green, Ohio faces $1,326,367 in penalties for exposing its employees to atmospheric, thermal, electrical, and mechanical hazards as they performed maintenance inside heat-treating furnaces.


Do you live in a stressed-out state?

April 1, 2019

With April being Stress Awareness Month and millennials reporting the highest average stress levels of any generation, the personal-finance website WalletHub has released its report on 2019's Most & Least Stressed States as well as accompanying videos. To determine the states with the highest stress levels, WalletHub compared the 50 states across 40 key metrics.