OSHA releases its upcoming regulatory agenda, a treatment offers hope to those struggling with opioid addiction and contractors launch an effort to get motorists to drive safely in highway work zones. These were among the top stories featured on ISHN.com this week.

Workplace violence, LOTO, silica on OSHA’s spring 2019 regulatory agenda

May 31, 2019

The spring 2019 regulatory agenda released by OSHA last week includes rulemakings in various stages that will be priorities for the agency in the near future. Included on the agenda:


It's World No Tobacco Day

May 31, 2019

Just in time for World No Tobacco Day - which is today - the World Health Organization (WHO) has unleashed a barrage of statistics on the toll tobacco takes on lung health. For starters, tobacco kills at least eight million people a year across the globe. That’s according to WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who noted that millions more live with lung cancer, tuberculosis, asthma or chronic lung disease caused by tobacco.


Belief in learning styles myth may be detrimental

May 30, 2019

Are you born with it? Or do you develop it over time? Although a new study on preferred learning styles was intended to make childhood education more efficient, its findings could hold some lessons for those who design safety training for adult workers.


Early onset colorectal cancer rising fastest in the west

Surprising finding suggests obesity epidemic may not fully explain increasing rates

May 30, 2019

Early-onset colorectal cancer –cancer occurring before age 50—is rising most rapidly in Western states, where healthy behaviors are prominent, according to a new study. The authors of the study, which appears in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, say the findings indicate the need for further etiologic studies to explore early-life colorectal carcinogenesis.


OSHA in the age of robotics

Evolving tech may bring changes to 30-year-old LOTO rule

Maureen Paraventi

May 30, 2019

OSHA’s recent call for comments that may be used to help update its Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) standard highlights an area of growing concern for safety professionals: robotics-human interaction. When the agency’s Control of Hazardous Energy (LOTO) standard was issued in 1989, industrial robots were in use – primarily in manufacturing – but they bore little resemblance to their modern day counterparts. In the 1960s, '70s and '80s, industrial robots were capable of gripping objects, moving them from one point to another and performing assembly tasks.


Concussions and thrown feces — staff at Anoka psychiatric hospital fear for their safety

Christopher Magan

May 30, 2019

Staff at the Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center say safety conditions have deteriorated so badly at the state-run psychiatric hospital that many are afraid to go to work. Workers say staff members have been knocked unconscious, dragged across the floor by their hair and had feces and urine thrown at them. Recently, a nurse was hospitalized after being beaten by a patient.


A NIOSH Science Blog post

Medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder

Susan Afunah MA Casey Chosewood MD, MPH Tamekia Evans Lauren Cimineri PharmD, MP Dr. John Howard

May 29, 2019

The opioid overdose epidemic continues to claim lives across the country with a record 47,600 overdose deaths in 2017[i]. The crisis is taking an especially devastating toll on certain parts of the U.S. workforce. High rates of opioid overdose deaths have occurred in industries with high injury rates and physically demanding working conditions such as construction, mining, or fishing[ii],[iii].


A FairWarning Story

Spinning blades, broken bodies and danger by design

May 29, 2019

Jeremy Westfall was cutting the grass last month at his home in Mineralwells, West Virginia, when he decided to put his riding mower in reverse. He didn’t see his 6-year-old daughter Michaela walking up behind him, and backed over her.


Contractors to drivers: Go slow in highway work zones

Associated General Contractors of America tries to reduce risk to workers

May 29, 2019

Some 67 percent of highway contractors report that motor vehicles crashed into their construction work zones during the past year, according to the results of a new highway work zone study conducted by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). In response, association officials have launched a new radio and media campaign urging drivers to slow down and remain alert in highway work zones.


Is your workplace ready for a tornado?

May 29, 2019

The recent destructive barrage of tornadoes in Ohio, Kansas and Pennsylvania that took lives and demolished buildings is a reminder that “tornado season” – the time of year when most tornadoes happen – is far from over. The dangerous vortex of violent, rotating wind that accompanies a storm system occurs most often in the U.S. from April to June, although tornadoes can wreak havoc long before and after that time.


Pesticide spraying linked to high blood pressure in kids

May 29, 2019

Mother’s Day brought an unwelcome research result in a study done in Ecuador: high blood pressure among children exposed to pesticides sprayed during that country’s big flower harvest. Ecuador is among the largest commercial flower growers in the world, with significant rose exports to North America, Europe and Asia – especially for Mother’s Day, a holiday with one of the highest sales of flowers.


How a plane ended up in a river

May 28, 2019

“It was a dark and stormy night” might be the title of the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) report on a passenger flight from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to Florida that ended with the plane resting in the shallow water of a river. There were no serious injuries to the 142 passengers and crew onboard, but the airplane was substantially damaged in the May 3rd incident at the Jacksonville Naval Air Station (KNIP).


Where can an EHS degree take you?

May 28, 2019

Planning a career in occupational and environmental safety management? Expect a median salary in the $48,820 to $70,920 range, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. And while graduates can work in a variety of fields and locations - like healthcare facilities, construction sites, oil and gas operations and manufacturing plants – you might take a close look at New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania - they’re all in the top five for employment opportunities for occupational health and safety specialists.


App gets women to work out - at least short term

May 28, 2019

Activity trackers and mobile phone apps are all the rage, but do they really help users increase and maintain physical activity? A new study has found that one mobile phone app designed for inactive women does help - when combined with an activity tracker and personal counseling.


Getting ‘smart’ about construction safety

Wearable sensors could monitor stress, physical demands and even risk perception

May 27, 2019

The construction industry, by its nature, can be dangerous. SangHyun Lee, an associate professor in the University of Michigan’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, says wearable sensors can improve construction worker safety and also reduce costs through better data on worker health. He answers questions about his research.