Avoiding risk, preventing asthma and fast-tracking self-driving autos were among the top occupational safety and health, environment, transportation, and regulation stories featured on ISHN.com this week.


Food company must improve safety at 8 facilities

May 24, 2019

A New Jersey food manufacturer has reached a region-wide settlement with OSHA and agreed to pay $152,934 in penalties for a range of safety citations. The settlement with Pennsauken-based J&J Snack Foods Corp. will affect the company’s eight food manufacturing and warehouse facilities in New Jersey and New York.


A NIOSH Science Blog post

Extramural Spotlight: Airline pilot mental health

Alexander Wu ScD, MPH

May 24, 2019

In March 2015, Germanwings Flight 9525 crashed into the French Alps, killing all 150 people onboard. An investigation found that the copilot deliberately steered the plane into the mountainside. It also revealed that he had a history of depression. Among workers, untreated depression can affect the ability to perform tasks and—as the Germanwings incident shows—in rare instances, can result in devastating consequences.


Recent tragedies put safety of "flightseeing” planes under scrutiny

May 24, 2019

Charter flight operators need to follow the same safety measures that major passenger airlines comply with, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which is in the process of investigating a string of recent accidents involving for-hire aircraft. The latest incident occurred May 13, 2019, when a mid-air collision between two floatplanes near Ketchikan, Alaska killed five people and injured ten others. Both aircraft were conducting “flightseeing” tours that allowed passengers aerial views of scenic attractions.


ASSP and NIOSH collaborating to advance workplace safety

May 24, 2019

The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have renewed a partnership agreement that outlines how the organizations will collaborate on advancing workplace safety and health over the next five years.


Recent OSH enforcement: Carcinogens, saws and unguarded machinery

May 23, 2019

The Alaska Occupational Safety and Health Division issued 14 citations and $270,723 in penalties to Trident Seafood Corporation after two workers were seriously injured by unguarded machinery. Inspectors found that the company failed to provide machine guarding on augers, conveyors, sprocket wheels, and chains.


In LA: Better air quality, lower asthma rates

Leigh Hopper

May 23, 2019

Improved air quality in the Los Angeles region is linked to roughly 20 percent fewer new asthma cases in children, according to a USC study that tracked Southern California children over a 20-year period. The research expands on the landmark USC Children’s Health Study, which found that children’s lungs had grown stronger in the previous two decades and rates of bronchitic symptoms decreased as pollution declined throughout the region.


Feds to remove "regulatory barriers" to self-driving cars

May 23, 2019

Two federal agencies are taking steps to speed up the introduction of vehicles equipped with automated driving systems (ADS) on U.S. roads. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have issued advance notices of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) “on the removal of unnecessary regulatory barriers” to the use of ADS in the U.S.


NC contractor earns 15 fall protection violations in five years

Company slogan is “Always Done Right”

May 23, 2019

OSHA’s recent enforcement actions against DDG Construction Services Inc. must have been like déjà vu all over again for the Charlotte, North Carolina-based company. The agency cited DDG for failing to provide workers with fall protection at a commercial building site in Springfield, Missouri – bringing the number of fall violations the company has been cited for since 2014 to 15. Proposed penalties for the latest round of citations: $98,693.


Poor planning and training led to fatal Amtrak train derailment

May 22, 2019

Failure to provide an effective mitigation for a hazardous curve and inadequate training of a locomotive engineer led to the overspeed derailment of an Amtrak passenger train that hurtled off a railroad bridge and onto a busy highway in DuPont, Washington, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced Tuesday.


OSHA eliminates a residential construction requirement

May 22, 2019

OSHA is eliminating a construction industry requirement that it says will “lessen the compliance burden of employers without jeopardizing the safety of employees.” In a final rule published in the Federal Register on May 14, the agency says employers will no longer have to post maximum safe-load limits of floors in storage areas when constructing single-family dwellings or wood-framed multi-family structures.


After 2 crashes in a week, Alaska air carrier grounds planes

May 22, 2019

An Alaska floatplane company has suspended its operations, after its planes were involved in two fatal crashes in one week. The pilot and a passenger of a Taquan Air plane died Monday afternoon when the plane crashed in Metlakatla Harbor, south of Ketchikan.


How to bolster nighttime visibility in highway work zones

May 22, 2019

For motorists and the workers who build, repair, and maintain streets, bridges, and highways, roadway work zones can be dangerous. In these areas, a variety of complicated road signs, barrels and lane changes could increase the risk of motor vehicle crashes.


More drone restrictions take effect

May 21, 2019

Drone operators must stay away from U.S. Navy vessels, take an aeronautical knowledge test and obey new procedures for flying their Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) near airports, under a new round of restrictions announced by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).


Pool chem injuries cause 4K+ emergency department visits a year

Kids, teens at special risk

May 21, 2019

Pool chemical injuries led to an estimated 4,535 U.S. emergency department visits annually during 2008-2017, according to a report published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Although injuries from pool chemicals are preventable, the number of serious injuries from these chemicals has not changed much in the last 15 years.


Another construction death in NYC

May 21, 2019

New York City continued its string of construction industry fatalities on Saturday, when a 49-year-old worker fell 30 feet to his death at a Madison Avenue worksite. The city’s Department of Buildings issued a full stop-work order for the site after the incident, which occurred shortly before noon.


Treatment, support helps workers come back from injuries

May 21, 2019

Oregon forestry workers who were injured on the job were more likely to fully recover if they received treatment and support from their employers, according to a recent study at the University of Washington. Those workers also reported that their employer promoted safety through policies, practices, and resources—indicators of a healthy safety climate.


2019 Trench Safety Stand Down coming in June

May 20, 2019

They tend to happen more on Mondays. They can occur in an instant. And trench deaths kill about 25 workers a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). About 75 percent of those deaths are due to cave-ins, which are largely preventable through cave-in protection and soil analysis. The remainder are mainly caused by struck-bys or electrocutions – also largely preventable.


FDA illegally delayed action on e-cigarettes

May 20, 2019

A federal judge has ruled that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acted illegally when it delayed a required review of the public health impact of e-cigarettes – a delay that allowed the products to stay on the market until 2022. Cigar makers were given until 2021. In what health experts are calling a major victory for children’s and teen’s health, U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland ruled that the FDA had exceeded its legal authority in giving e-cigarette manufacturers more time to sell their products before applying for FDA authorization.


The evolution of health & safety monitoring technology

Justin Stewart

May 20, 2019

This year’s AIHce is significant in that it marks 80 years since the first conference was held in Cleveland, Ohio. It’s hard to imagine what the forefathers of the industrial hygiene profession would have made of the measurement technology available today.


No surprise: Mining risk avoiders have fewer close calls

May 20, 2019

A recent study of 1,334 workers from 20 mine sites found that miners who avoid risk were less likely to experience near-miss incidents, according to a paper published in the Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries.