OSHA updates a program designed to reduce amputations in the manufacturing industry; company execs in France found guilty of “institutional harassment” and alcohol-related fatalities are increasing in the U.S. These were among the occupational safety and health stories featured on ISHN.com this week.

Few answers yet in La. plane crash that claimed five lives

January 10, 2020

No mayday was received from the small plane that crashed shortly after taking off from a Louisiana airport on Dec. 28, 2019, killing five of the six people on board and injuring several people on the ground. The NTSB's preliminary report into the incident does not include a probable cause. Instead, it provides a meticulously reconstructed sequence of events involving the Piper PA 31T, which took off on a personal flight from Lafayette Regional Airport/Paul Fournet Field (LFT) in Lafayette en route to Atlanta, Georgia.


Fire deaths in the U.S. on the rise

January 9, 2020

Over the 10 years from 2008 to 2017, the U.S. had an annual average of 1,344,100 fires, according to Fire in the United States 2008-2017, the 20th edition of the statistical overview of fires in the U.S. issued by the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA). Those million-plus fires resulted in 3,190 civilian deaths, 16,225 civilian injuries and $14.7 billion in direct property loss each year. The figures in the report represent an increase in 10-year trends for fire-related deaths and dollar loss, even as 10-year trends for fires and fire-related injuries have decreased.


OSHA updates NEP on amputations in the manufacturing industry

January 9, 2020

OSHA has issued an updated National Emphasis Program (NEP) that signifies the agency’s intent to focus inspections on identifying amputation hazards in manufacturing industry facilities. The NEP, which was first issued in 2015, specifically targets industrial and manufacturing workplaces where employees are injured by unguarded or improperly guarded machinery and equipment.


Managing your boss

January 9, 2020

Successfully managing a difficult boss is a challenge but often feasible. First, you should try to understand the reasons for your boss’ difficult behavior. Assuming your boss generally behaves in a fairly reasonable manner, and that his/her difficult behavior seems to be a result of stress overload rather than his/her character, chances are good that the behavior can be modified.


Alcohol playing an increasing role in U.S. mortality

January 9, 2020

Deaths related to alcohol use in the U.S. have increased over the past years, resulting in alcohol having a larger impact on public health services, according to a recent study. The authors of Using Death Certificates to Explore Changes in Alcohol‐Related Mortality in the United States, 1999 to 2017 warn that because death certificates often fail to indicate the contribution of alcohol, the scope of alcohol‐related mortality in the United States is likely higher than suggested from death certificates alone.


Sanitation worker struck, pinned between 2 vehicles

January 8, 2020

A Kentucky sanitation worker is recovering from serious injuries he sustained last week on the job when he was struck by an SUV. News sources say 25-year-old Sheldon Morris was pinned between a garbage truck and the SUV at approximately 7 a.m. on Dec. 31 along a highway in Bedford.


Best & worst U.S. cities for active lifestyles

January 8, 2020

Did you – like many people - make a New Year’s resolution to get healthier by losing weight and exercising more? You may be interested in the results of a report just released by personal-finance website WalletHub, one which identifies what it says are the best and worst U.S. cities for an “active lifestyle.” For its report, 2020’s Best & Worst Cities for an Active Lifestyle, WalletHub compared the 100 biggest U.S. cities across 38 key metrics.


Crew members injured in towing mishap

January 8, 2020

The sinking of two vessels being towed in Massachusetts bay in 2018 was likely due to a decision by a tow captain and vessel owner to attempt a transit in wind and waves “that exceeded their original plan for the voyage,” according to a report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which investigated the incident. Two crew members received minor injuries in the December 2 incident, which occurred while the towing vessel Big Jake was towing five barges and two workboats.


Votel named Vice Chair of International Safety Equipment Association

January 8, 2020

Tom Votel, President and CEO of Ergodyne, was named Vice Chair of the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) at the group’s annual meeting in Arlington, Virginia in November. Votel will lead ISEA alongside the newly appointed chairman of the board, Craig Wallentine, Global Business Development Manager, DuPont Safety & Construction (Retired).


A FairWarning Story

Serious concerns raised over FDA’s capacity to inspect overseas drug makers

Hillel Aron

January 8, 2020

With the U.S. increasingly dependent on foreign manufacturers for prescription and generic drugs, the Food and Drug Administration’s problem-plagued efforts to inspect overseas plants is under growing scrutiny. A recent report by the Government Accountability Office has raised serious concerns about the FDA’s foreign inspection program and whether it’s allowing overseas drug makers to conceal unsafe practices.

NTSB addresses aviation safety in rough terrain areas, distracted driving

January 7, 2020

Aviation safety, cell phone use by motorists and welcoming new board members kept National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) busy in recent months. On September 6, in Anchorage, Alaska, NTSB facilitated a roundtable of industry operators, government officials, educators, and aviation associations to discuss ways to improve the safety of Part 135 flight operations in Alaska.


Not so fast: "OSHA-compliant" headphone claims are false

January 7, 2020

A quick online search of hearing protection/headphones using the term, “OSHA-compliant” invariably returns a list of various devices offering different features, such as: OSHA-compliant Bluetooth Hearing Protection; OSHA-compliant Professional Hearing Protection; OSHA-compliant Wireless Noise Reduction In-Ear Headphones; OSHA-compliant Noise Isolating Earbuds. The problem?


Millions of U.S. employees affected by workplace bullying

January 7, 2020

Nearly 20 percent of U.S. workers experience bullying in the workplace and 19 percent witness it, according to a national survey conducted by the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI). The survey defined workplace bullying as “repeated mistreatment of an employee by one or more employees; abusive conduct that is: threatening, humiliating, or intimidating, work sabotage, or verbal abuse.” Although the WBI survey was conducted in 2017, the problem has not abated; in a 2019 Monster.com survey, nearly 94 percent out of responding employees reported being bullied in the workplace.

Falls persist in comm tower industry

January 7, 2020

In Wichita, Kansas, a 25-year-old worker performing cell tower maintenance was killed when he fell 50 feet. In Louise, Mississippi, a worker installing microwave dishes on a cell tower was killed when he fell 125 feet. The worker, who was not using a double lanyard, fell after disconnecting his positioning lanyard to reposition himself. In Coats, NC, a worker performing installation services for Sprint died from a fall.


NSC President named to 2019 Most Influential Corporate Board Directors list by WomenInc.

Lorraine M. Martin recognized for work on Kennametal Board of Directors

January 6, 2020

Lorraine M. Martin, president and CEO of the National Safety Council (NSC) has been named to WomenInc.’s 2019 Most Influential Corporate Board Directors list. The honor will appear in the winter edition of WomenInc. magazine as part of a comprehensive list of more than 700 female executives, influencers and achievers who are contributing their leadership to corporate boards.


FAA issues Superbowl LIV airspace restrictions

January 6, 2020

It’s not just a football game; it’s a designated National Security Special Event. That’s why the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is announcing restrictions for both manned and unmanned aircraft for Super Bowl LIV, which will take place on Sunday, Feb. 2 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. And the rules don’t just cover the day of the game.


A NIOSH Science Blog post

Outbreak of silicosis in artificial stone countertop affects workers in four states

Katelynn Dodd MPH Amy Heinzerling MD, MS Cecile Rose MD, MSW Carolyn Reeb-Whitaker RPIH Dr. Robert Harrison MD, MPH

January 6, 2020

Artificial stone countertops, also known as "quartz stone countertops," are made by polymerizing quartz aggregate and resin binder. These materials look similar to natural stone and are increasingly used in residential construction and home furnishings. Between 2010 and 2018, imports of quartzite countertops in the United States have increased by nearly 800% (US International Trade Commission).


Following employee suicides, company found guilty of “institutional harassment”

19 workers took their own lives

January 6, 2020

In a first-ever action, a company and its former managers were criminally prosecuted for institutional harassment associated with suicides among the company’s employees. In a judgment last month, the Paris Criminal Court sentenced France Telecom to a fine of 75,000 euros - the maximum penalty – for institutional harassment that had spread from the leadership to the rest of the company in 2007-2008.


Thousands hospitalized for vaping lung injuries in 2019

CDC releases final figures

January 6, 2020

Some 2,561 people were hospitalized last year for lung injuries associated with e-cigarette, or vaping, product use EVALI, according to the CDC. EVALI hospitalizations or deaths were reported by all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 2 U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands).