OSHA’s chance for a chief steps aside, pesticide hazards grab headlines and OSHA issues a rule that revises some standards. These were among the top stories featured on ISHN.com this week.


Mugno withdraws as OSHA chief nominee

Agency remains rudderless

May 17, 2019

After nearly nineteen months in confirmation limbo, the man nominated by President Donald Trump to head up OSHA has withdrawn from the process. Scott Mugno, whose two-decades-long tenure at FedEx Ground and Express included six years as vice president of safety, sustainability, and vehicle maintenance, reportedly notified the White House and Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta this week that he was moving on to other pursuits.


Longer hours and injury risk

May 17, 2019

Take longer shifts, add being new on the job and lacking a routine and you get an increased risk of injuries relative to those occurring during the first eight hours, according to a study published recently in Occupational & Environmental Medicine. Furthermore, incidents occurring during long working hours were more likely to result in a death or involve multiple injured workers.


Adopting a healthy lifestyle helps reduce the risk of dementia

May 17, 2019

People can reduce their risk of dementia by getting regular exercise, not smoking, avoiding harmful use of alcohol, controlling their weight, eating a healthy diet, and maintaining healthy blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels, according to new guidelines issued by the World Health Organization (WHO).


New NIOSH study describes drug overdoses at work

A look at the workers and workplaces affected by substance use on the job

May 16, 2019

The impact of drug overdoses in the workplace can be better understood in a study recently published by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), particularly as drug overdose fatalities increase across the country. The study, published online in the journal of Injury Prevention, describes drug overdose deaths of workers occurring in US workplaces between 2011-2016.


If you're 59 or over, anger is worse for your health than sadness

May 16, 2019

Anger may be more harmful to an older person’s physical health than sadness, potentially increasing inflammation, which is associated with such chronic illnesses as heart disease, arthritis and cancer, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association (APA).


Court of Appeals to roofing contractor: pay fines & abate hazards

OSHA requirements "are not just paperwork exercises"

May 16, 2019

An Ohio roofing contractor who has never paid penalties for one of the many OSHA citations it’s been issued was ordered earlier this month to get right with OSHA. The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered Holland-based Casey Bortles to immediately comply with the final orders resulting from uncontested citations.


OSHA issues rule revising requirements in safety and health standards

May 15, 2019

OSHA has issued a final rule that revises 14 provisions in the recordkeeping, general industry, maritime, and construction standards that may be confusing, outdated, or unnecessary. The revisions are expected to increase understanding and compliance with the provisions, improve employee safety and health, and save employers an estimated $6.1 million per year.


FAA warns airports about installing drone detectors

By Maureen Paraventi

May 15, 2019

Detecting drones near airports is one thing. Taking them out is another, prohibited, thing. That’s the message the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is communicating to U.S. airports who, frustrated by the incursion of drones into their airspace, are or are considering installing devices which could detect the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).


#MySafeSummerJob addresses safety for young workers

May 15, 2019

As high school and college students get ready to put away the books and start summer jobs, OSHA hopes its #MySafeSummerJob program will help keep them safe in their new endeavors. #MySafeSummerJob offers information for both employers and employees about occupational safety for young people – who generally have less experience and training and a lower awareness of hazards than older workers. 


European officials accused of downplaying dangers of pesticides

May 14, 2019

Legal wrangling over hazardous pesticides – such as the recent lawsuit against the maker of Roundup – are not limited to the United States. The European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) is accusing senior European Commission officials of behind-the-scenes machinations that are enabling dangerous pesticides to continue being sold on the European market.


A NIOSH Science Blog post

Farm dinner theatre

Julie Tisdale-Pardi MA

May 14, 2019

It is not new news that agriculture has excessive worker injury rates. Nor that senior farmers and adult farmers in the South experience some of the highest occupational injury and mortality in the nation. There were an estimated 58,385 work-related adult farm injuries (more than six every hour) in 2014. In 2016, 417 farmers and farm workers died from a work-related injury.


California couple awarded $2 billion in Roundup-cancer case

May 14, 2019

The latest lawsuit against the manufacturer of a popular weed killer has resulted in a $2 billion award for a husband and wife who claimed Roundup caused them both to contract cancer. The California jury award against Monsanto, maker of the glyphosate-based herbicide, is the third recent court decision of its kind – and the largest. An Alameda County jury ruled that the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma of Alva and Alberta Pilliod of Livermore, Calif. was due to their use of Roundup.


Kansas manufacturer exposes employees to known carcinogen

May 14, 2019

A Kansas aircraft manufacturer exposed its employees to hexavalent chromium and failed to monitor exposure levels, according to OSHA, which has assessed citations and fines against Spirit Aerosystems Inc. According to OSHA inspectors, the Wichita-based company failed to implement feasible engineering controls to limit employee exposure to hexavalent chromium, a known carcinogen...


Fired safety whistleblower awarded $40K in damages

May 13, 2019

After an investigation by OSHA, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has awarded $40,000 for lost wages, pain and suffering, and punitive damages to a former employee of Fairmount Foundry Inc. The employee claimed that the Hamburg, Pennsylvania, iron-casting company terminated him for reporting alleged safety and health hazards to OSHA.


EPA rule blocks “discontinued uses” of asbestos

May 13, 2019

The EPA has issued a final rule that closes a regulatory loophole for asbestos by prohibiting discontinued uses of the substance by being re-introduced to the marketplace without an agency review. Restrictions on Discontinued Uses of Asbestos; Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) is effective June 24, 2019. The restricted significant new uses of asbestos (including as part of an article) is manufacturing (including importing) or processing for uses that are neither ongoing nor already prohibited under TSCA.


Fla. heat illness prevention bill faces uphill battle

May 13, 2019

Advocates in Florida are pushing for tougher standards for growers to protect their employees, arguing that rising global temperatures will make outdoor work unsustainable without the proper regulations. Florida’s agriculture and construction employers could soon be required to train outdoor workers and managers on avoiding heat-related illnesses under proposed legislation. The heat illness prevention bill, sponsored by Orlando Democrat Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, would set a statewide standard for all outdoor workers to be given plenty of drinking water, access to shade and ten-minute rest breaks enforced after every two hours of outside labor. 


Bad hotwork advice contributes to fire on cargo ship

May 13, 2019

A fire that endangered the 24 crew members aboard a cargo ship was caused by the crew’s lack of adherence to the company’s safety management system, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which investigated the incident. The NTSB also pointed to guidance about hotwork from the marine chemist as a contributing factor to the fire aboard the Chipolbrok Moon.


Heat exhaustion vs. heatstroke: What are the warning signs?

May 13, 2019

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on average, over 600 people die from complications related to extreme heat each year in the United States - more than tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, lightning or any other weather event combined. Heat-related deaths and illnesses are preventable, but it’s important to identify the warning signs and to react swiftly and appropriately when they arise.