An oil company that puts safety first – and one that doesn’t; a surprising hazard for firefighters and how cooperating with an OSHA investigation got two workers fired – then got them a million dollar settlement. These were among the top occupational safety and health stories featured on this week.


Networking at the NSC Congress & Expo

September 6, 2019

There are a wealth of networking opportunities available to attendees of the 2019 NSC Congress & Expo (and social media ones, if you can’t make it). The NSC Job and Career Center offers companies a central location to post open safety related positions (and even a private area for interviews, if they meet candidates they like at the conference).


A NIOSH Science Blog post

Effectiveness of new guidelines to prevent workplace hand-wrist MSDs

Alysha Meyers PhD, CPE Ann Marie Dale PhD, OTR/L Bradley Evanoff Marcus Yung PhD, CPE

September 6, 2019

Research confirms that new guidelines to prevent worker hand, wrist, and elbow musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) better protect workers. MSDs can be debilitating and costly workplace safety and health issues. In Washington state alone, direct costs for hand, wrist, and elbow MSD workers’ compensation claims accounted for over $2 billion and 11.8 million lost work days from 1999-2013.


Why is this cancer rising in young adults?

Study findings could "foreshadow a future cancer burden"

September 6, 2019

Health experts are puzzled by a new, global study that shows the colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence increasing significantly in young adults in high-income countries – while the rate is trending downward in older adults. The American Cancer Society study, appearing in the journal Gut, suggests that changes in early-life exposures are increasing CRC risk. Exactly what those changes are, though, remains a mystery.


Tesla driver relied too much on autopilot, crashed into fire truck

September 6, 2019

A driver’s inattention, overreliance on his car’s advanced driver assistance system, and use of the system inconsistent with manufacturer guidance, coupled with the system permitting driver disengagement from the driving task, led to the Jan. 22, 2018, crash in Culver City, California, according to a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) brief issued this week.


United Piping goes 2 million man hours without a lost-time injury


Dave Johnson

September 5, 2019

In March, 2019, United Piping, Inc, a pipeline construction company based in Duluth, MN and founded in 1997, surpassed a milestone – two million man hours worked without a lost-time injury. Key to this achievement in a hazardous industry is UPI Piping’s strong culture of safety values and practices.


California gets tough on permits issued to petro companies

September 5, 2019

California Natural Resources is conducting an internal review of thousands of permits issued to petroleum companies in wake of a report on so-called "dummy" files created by the state oil regulator. The review would look at whether the permits were properly issued. Frustrated employees at the oil and gas regulator say that the placeholder files have been used by higher-ups to give petroleum companies a shortcut around legally required safety and environmental reviews.


Buyer of BP’s Alaska oil assets has a history of safety violations

September 5, 2019

BP has announced it is selling all of its Alaska operations to Hilcorp, a privately-owned company with a troubled safety and environmental track-record. The $5.6 billion sale includes BP's stakes in the Trans Alaska Pipeline and the Prudhoe Bay oil field, one of the nation's largest and once its most productive oil field, which BP currently operates.


Blinded by junk food

Teen loses eyesight from years’ long bad diet, report says

September 5, 2019

Since elementary school, the boy "had a daily portion of fries from the local fish and chip shop and snacked on Pringles, white bread, processed ham slices and sausages." A British teenager who had been a "fussy eater" since elementary school lost his vision and suffered significant hearing loss due to his years’ long diet of junk food, according to a recently published case report.


Cookie dough maker develops LOTO plan, fails to follow it

September 5, 2019

It was déjà vu all over again for Choice Products USA LLC. Back in 2016, the Eau Claire, Wisconsin cookie dough manufacturer had been cited by OSHA for a number of machine hazards that potentially exposed workers to hazardous energy. During their latest inspection, OSHA found similar machine hazards, along with a host of others. Choice Products was cited for five egregious willful violations for failing to implement and train employees on lockout/tagout procedures to prevent unintentional contact with machine operating parts during service and maintenance.


Aging U.S. fire stations expose firefighters to hazards

September 4, 2019

Some 59 percent of fire stations in the U.S. are not equipped with exhaust emission control systems, which are critical for mitigating firefighter exposure/keywords/13730-occupational-exposure to diesel fumes. Exposure to these fumes can increase the likelihood of cardiovascular disease, cardiopulmonary disease, respiratory disease, and lung cancer. Many firefighters sleep in fire stations because they work extended shifts – an arrangement which increases their chance of exposure.


Heart health at risk from hurricanes

September 4, 2019

As one of the most powerful hurricanes in history begins to batter the east coast of central Florida – and after that, possibly, Georgia and North and South Carolina, the American Heart Association (AHA) is reminding people that Hurricane Dorian poses a health risk to those in its path.


A FairWarning Story

Star safety ratings, long helpful to car buyers, now languish in the breakdown lane

September 4, 2019

Grade inflation in school makes it difficult to distinguish who is actually achieving in the classroom. The federal government’s vehicle safety rating system suffers the same problem. Today, 98 percent of all vehicles tested receive four or five stars for crashworthiness. Consumer advocates and safety experts say it’s time to raise the bar for the New Car Assessment Program, which hasn’t been updated in nearly 10 years.


Even diet soft drinks are bad for your health

September 4, 2019

Soft drinks – whether diet versions or in their regular, sugar-laden form – are associated with a higher risk of dying from any cause, according to new research published in JAMA Internal Medicine. The study titled, Association Between Soft Drink Consumption and Mortality in 10 European Countries, is the largest of its kind to date. This study found even in people of a healthy weight, sugary and diet drinks increase risk of dying from circulatory and digestive disease.


An amputation, an investigation, and retaliation

How a Pa. company ended up with a million dollar bill for firing two employees

September 3, 2019

The termination of two employees who participated in an OSHA investigation into a workplace injury has resulted in a federal judge ordering their former employee to pay them $1,047,399 in lost wages and punitive damages. The case began with a workplace incident in which one of the employees' co-workers suffered the amputation of three fingers.


MSHA seeking info on protecting miners from exposure to quartz

September 3, 2019

The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has published a Request for Information (RFI) in the Federal Register seeking data on economically and technologically feasible methods to protect miners' health from exposure to quartz. The RFI includes an examination of an appropriately reduced permissible exposure limit, potential new or developing protective technologies, and/or technical and educational assistance.


AIHA unveils new website

September 3, 2019

The American Industrial Hygiene Association’s (AIHA) website has undergone a major redesign that includes a new online University and Consumer Center Makes the organization says will make IH/OEHS resources more accessible than ever. The online address remains the same: The new website adds content resources for industrial hygiene and occupational health professionals, government agencies, researchers and students interested in worker health and safety, and the general public.


A NIOSH Science Blog post

NIOSH launches Respiratory Protection Week

-in celebration of 100 years of respiratory protection

Jaclyn Krah Cichowicz

September 3, 2019

September is here, and we National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) employees have put away our Labor Day picnics to get back to the work of protecting the American labor force…. And, of course, celebrating N95 Day! Right? Yes and no. You see, this year is special. This year marks an important anniversary in the history of respiratory protection.


Have your say about safety eyewear standard

September 2, 2019

The public comment period for the proposed revision of ANSI/ISEA Z87.1, American National Standard for Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices is now open – but only until September 30, 2019.