The NSC issues guidance for employers and cannabis use among workers; the NYPD tries a new strategy to combat police depressions and the AIHA partners with international organizations to help clear the (indoor) air. These were among the stop stories featured on this week.


Temp worker killed at Georgia plant; no answers for family

October 25, 2019

The Georgia facility at which a temporary employee was crushed to death by pallets last week has a history of safety violations and citations by OSHA. Fifty-nine-year-old Willie Bonner reportedly died at the Nichiha USA in Bibb County after a robotic arm knocked him onto a conveyer belt. OSHA is investigating the fatality.


Strategies for increasing physical activity in communities

New book explains how – and why it’s important

October 25, 2019

A new book from the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) APHA Press, "Physical Activity & Public Health: A Practitioner’s Guide,"explores how community organizers and public health workers can build successful programs that promote and sustain physical activity. The handbook discusses health benefits of regular exercise and infrastructure barriers to physical activity and highlights community programs with a track record of success.


Plant managers plead guilty to obstructing a fatality investigation

October 25, 2019

A former manager at an Ohio manufacturing plant will be spending some weekends in jail on charges related to an employee fatality. His associate, another former manager at Extrudex Aluminum in North Jackson, Ohio, will have three months of home confinement. The U.S. District Court sentencing of Brian L. Carder and Paul Love came after each man pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obstruct justice charges.


NTSB determines cause of 2018 railroad fatality

October 24, 2019

Human error caused a railroad conductor’s death during a 2018 incident in Dallas Texas, according to an accident brief released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The incident that occurred early in the morning of August 13 involved Dallas, Garland & Northeastern Railroad, Inc. (DGNO) a subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W), a holding company that owns short line railroads throughout the United States.


A FairWarning Story

Embattled Johnson & Johnson recalls some of its baby powder after the FDA finds asbestos

Jessica McKenzie

October 24, 2019

Tainted love: Johnson & Johnson recalled 33,000 bottles of baby powder after the Food and Drug Administration found asbestos in one container, The New York Times reports. The company, which once marketed its baby, body, and wellness products as being “for all you love,” has long denied that its talc-based products ever contained cancer-causing asbestos, but it faces more than 15,000 lawsuits from customers who say their products caused them to develop ovarian cancer or mesothelioma, a rare cancer linked to asbestos.


House committee oks miners’ health care bill

October 24, 2019

A bill that would safeguard the miners’ health care benefits that are threatened by coal company bankruptcies has taken a step forward in Congress. The House Natural Resources Committee yesterday passed HR 934, the Health Benefits for Miners Act - clearing the way for the bills to be voted on by the full House of Representatives. Also approved by unanimous voice vote: HR 935, the Miners Pension Protection Act.


Nanoparticles “wiggling” through mucus may predict severe COPD

October 24, 2019

In a proof-of-concept experiment, researchers from Johns Hopkins Medicine say they have successfully used microscopic man-made particles to predict the severity of patients’ chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by measuring how quickly the particles move through mucus samples. The technique, say the researchers, could eventually help doctors deliver more effective treatments sooner.


U.S. highway deaths down in 2018

October 23, 2019

Fatalities due to motor vehicle accidents on U.S. highways decreased by 2.4 percent last year, according to data released yesterday by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It was the second consecutive year of reduced crash fatalities.


Multiple errors, inadequate peer review led to pedestrian bridge collapse in Florida

October 23, 2019

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has determined that load and capacity calculation errors made by FIGG Bridge Engineers, Inc., are the probable cause of the fatal, March 15, 2018, Florida International University pedestrian bridge collapse in Miami. Contributing to the collapse was an inadequate peer review by Louis Berger, the independent consultant hired to verify the bridge's integrity and design by FIGG.

NYPD to offer free mental health services to officers

October 23, 2019

After the tenth suicide among its ranks this year, the New York Police Department has decided to offer its officers free and confidential mental health services. Police Commissioner James O'Neill and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today that no-cost mental health counseling and prescription services would be available to officers through a program called Finest Care, which will be coordinated by New York-Presbyterian.


Worker drowns in catch basin; employer cited

October 23, 2019

A Florida engineering company is facing $185,239 in OSHA-assessed penalties after one of its employees drowned in a water- and mud-filled catch basin at a worksite in Pembroke Pines, Florida. OSHA cited Westwind Contracting Inc. for exposing its employees to excavation and confined spaces hazards. According to the agency, the company failed to:


Don’t take your drone out to the ballpark

October 22, 2019

With the World Series getting underway tonight, drone owners who are eager to get a birds’ eye view of the action should keep in mind that…they can’t. For the safety of baseball fans attending the World Series – and so that batted balls sailing toward the outfield will do so unimpeded - the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has established a No Drone Zone for all games played at Minute Maid Park in Houston.


Residents to hear about natural gas explosion that devastated their community

October 22, 2019

Residents of Merrimack Valley, Massachusetts will learn first-hand about the natural gas explosion that rocked their area last year from the federal agency that investigated the incident. In a community outreach event scheduled for this Friday, Oct. 25, at 3 p.m., the Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will discuss the agency’s completed investigation of the Sept. 13, 2018 natural gas fueled explosions and fires.


NSC to employers: Allow NO cannabis use among workers in safety sensitive positions

October 22, 2019

Employers who are struggling to understand how the evolving cannabis legalization landscape will impact their workplaces are getting some guidance from the National Safety Council (NSC). Regardless of whether cannabis consumption is allowed by their state, the NSC says employers should prohibit cannabis use for those in safety sensitive positions.


A NIOSH Science Blog post

The Safety Climate Assessment Tool (S-CAT) for construction

Linda M. Goldenhar

October 22, 2019

Organizational safety climate is defined as shared perceptions among employees regarding what is rewarded, expected, valued, and reinforced in the workplace with respect to safety (Zohar, 1980). It can positively influence employee safety knowledge, motivation, attitudes, and behaviors, as well as reduce injury outcomes (e.g., Clarke, 2010, Probst et al., 2008, Probst and Estrada, 2010, Zohar, 2010).


AIHA, 5 international groups join forces for a better indoor environment

The mission of the new alliance is to promote and advocate for indoor climate and health in buildings

October 21, 2019

The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) and five international associations have formed an Indoor Environmental Quality Global Alliance (IEQ-GA) to promote and advocate for indoor climate and health in buildings. The new association will serve as a global platform to facilitate the exchange of indoor environmental knowledge and information, promoting related education and research for indoor environmental quality and health in buildings.


A workplace accident? Blame the robot!

October 21, 2019

A new study out of North Carolina State University sheds some interesting light on how employees – some of them, anyway – view their robotic co-workers. They blame them for workplace accidents – if they believe the robots are autonomous. Researchers showed study participants scenarios of several workplace accidents involving both a human and a robot.


ISEA seeking consensus body members for high-visibility apparel standard

October 21, 2019

ISEA is soliciting interested parties as consensus body participants in the revision to ANSI/ISEA 107-2015, High-Visibility Safety Apparel and Accessories. The widely-accepted standard, incorporated by reference in federal highway regulations, defines the material performance criteria, design requirements, class and type designations (based on material amounts and intended application, respectively) and labeling for high-visibility safety apparel for occupational use.


Wood chipper fatality citations upheld by judge

October 21, 2019

Citations issued by OSHA to a New York state company after one of its employees was pulled into a wood chipper on his first day on the job have been affirmed by an administrative law judge with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. OSHA’s investigation revealed that Tony Watson - doing business as Countryside Tree Service - directed the employee to feed materials into the wood chipper, knowing that he had not trained the employee on how to do so safely.