Safety success at one manufacturing facility, a city sued after a construction incident and a closer look at the impact of industrial exoskeletons on workers were among the top stories featured on this week.

NIOSH tool can help enhance aerial lift safety

January 17, 2020

Whether they’re scissor lifts, boom lifts or some other kind of powered, mobile platform used to elevate workers to various heights, aerial lifts are very useful – and potentially dangerous. Aerial lifts can be found at construction and telecommunications job sites and in warehouses. They’re used for everything from painting, drywall installation, maintenance, moving materials – even changing lightbulbs.


After NTSB-Tesla part ways, agency looks into fatal crash

January 16, 2020

After getting ejected from the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) investigation into the crash of one of its vehicles, Tesla – along with everyone else – will learn the probable cause of the incident when the agency discloses it in a meeting next month. On March 23, 2018, a 2017 Tesla Model X electric-powered passenger vehicle, crashed while traveling southbound on US Highway 101 in Mountain View, California.


Planning ahead: Instructors sought for SafetyFOCUS 2021

January 16, 2020

While registered attendees prepare for next month’s SafetyFOCUS in Las Vegas, the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) is already recruiting instructors for the event’s 2021 edition that shifts to the MGM Grand. It’s an opportunity for safety experts to make a difference by contributing to the continuing education of occupational safety and health (OSH) professionals worldwide.


Flames not the only danger from wildfires

January 16, 2020

The wildfires raging through Australia are stark reminders that other parts of the world – including the U.S. – are also at risk, due to factors related to climate change, like warmer temperatures and drier conditions that lengthen the wildfire season and help a fire spread once it’s ignited. Even if your home or place of employment is not directly threatened by flames, you could be affected by the smoke from wildfires that are burning many miles away.


Wash. roofer exposed employees to fall risks

January 16, 2020

After being notified by concerned neighbors living near several construction projects, the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries investigated – and found multiple worker safety violations at three different worksites involving Allways Roofing.


Tech helps paralyzed race car driver get back on track

January 15, 2020

On Jan. 6, 2000, a racing accident left IndyCar driver Sam Schmidt paralyzed from the shoulders down. Twenty years later, Schmidt is driving again at speeds up to 192 mph. To help Schmidt reclaim his independence and drive again, engineers at Arrow Electronics modified a Chevrolet Corvette to create a smart, connected vehicle that he can operate safely and independently.


A FairWarning Story

Counterfeits hit home: Consumers are being foiled by fake water filters

January 15, 2020

For years, Montreal resident Brent George bought replacement water filters for his refrigerator from a local appliance store. Then one time he turned to Amazon, where he often shopped for other products. Besides being more convenient, the online filters he selected — sold by a third party and not by manufacturer Whirlpool — were also cheaper.


Calif. considers changing access to injury and illness prevention plans

January 15, 2020

California employers may soon be required to provide their workers with access to the company’s written workplace injury and illness prevention plans (IIPP), if the state’s Occupational Safety And Health Standards Board moves forward on a proposal that would mandate it. The change would amend a requirement that employers have IIPPs that has been in effect since 1991.


S.D. city sued over deadly construction incident

January 15, 2020

The South Dakota Supreme Court yesterday began hearing arguments in a lawsuit filed against the city of Sioux Falls in the case of a 2016 building collapse that killed a worker and seriously injured another person. The suit was brought by the family of Emily Fodness, who was trapped in debris for several hours when a building being remodeled by Hultgren Construction, LLC collapsed. Construction worker Ethan McMahon died in the incident.


Cleaner trucks, clearer air?

January 15, 2020

The EPA started the new year off with a move it says will ultimately reduce the emissions of gases that contribute heavily to air pollution, including the formation of smog and acid rain. On January 6, 2020, the agency issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rule (ANPR) soliciting pre-proposal comments on the Cleaner Trucks Initiative (CTI).


Two reprotoxic substances banned in the EU

January 14, 2020

The European Commission, on advice from the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA), has banned two pesticides: chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-methyl and two organophosphates used as ingredients in a number of insecticides. Chlorpyrifos has been on the market since 1966 and is currently in use in some 80 countries.


2 million+ hours with no lost time incident at Ark. manufacturer

January 14, 2020

An Arkansas manufacturing facility has been recognized for logging two million working hours without a lost time incident. Utility Trailer Manufacturing Company, a manufacturer of refrigerated trailers, dry freight vans, flatbeds, and Tautliner® curtainsided trailers, was presented with a safety award by the state of Arkansas for the achievement at its Paragould manufacturing plant.


Suit filed against new pork company self-inspection rule

“The USDA is letting the wolf guard the hog-house”

January 14, 2020

Several food safety advocacy organizations have filed a legal action against the U.S. Department of Agriculture for issuing New Swine Inspection System (NSIS) rules that that they say undermine pork-safety inspection in slaughter plants. Food & Water Watch and the Center for Food Safety are calling the new NSIS rules “a draconian reversal to the swine slaughter inspection system that has existed in the United States since 1906, which required meat inspectors to examine each animal before and after slaughter.”


$500K grant to help NSC speed adoption of workplace safety tech

Work to Zero initiative helps employers understand, embrace life-saving safety innovations

January 14, 2020

The National Safety Council has received a second $500,000 grant from the McElhattan Foundation for the NSC Work to Zero initiative, launched last January to educate employers about technological safety advancements that promise to reduce and ultimately eliminate preventable deaths in the workplace. Since receiving the first grant last December, NSC has conducted research into emerging and existing technologies and will release a comprehensive report in February that details which technologies could reduce fatality risk in the most hazardous situations for workers.


A NIOSH Science Blog post

Industrial exoskeletons

Dr. John Howard Jack Lu PhD, CPE Vladimir Murashov PhD Brian D. Lowe Ph.D

January 13, 2020

Exoskeletons used in the workplace are referred to as “industrial exoskeletons.” Their purpose is to augment, amplify, or reinforce the performance of a worker’s existing body components—primarily the lower back and the upper extremity (arms and shoulders). Despite a lack of research, manufacturers of these devices claim productivity gains, work quality improvements, and a reduction of the risk of work‐related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs).


Workplace wellness program study shows positive results despite low participation

January 13, 2020

Even with relatively low participation rates, a comprehensive workplace health promotion (WHP) can have a moderate impact on worker health, according to an analysis of a large Finnish company published in the November Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. The study involved an eight-year evaluation of the WHP implemented at a Finnish wood supply company, one which offered health risk appraisal (HRAs) and screening, along with education and support services aimed at improving employee health.


Smelting company employees sustain caustic burns; company cited

January 13, 2020

OSHA has cited Mayco Manufacturing LLC – operating as Mayco Industries Inc. – for exposing employees to lead and arsenic in addition to machine, electrical and fall hazards. The Granite City, Illinois, lead smelter faces $223,148 in penalties for 18 serious health violations. The inspection occurred after OSHA received a report that employees suffered caustic burns from water mixed with sodium hydroxide used to extinguish a fire.


Learn CPR, AED skills for use in youth sports

January 13, 2020

Parents and coaches of young athletes can learn how to help during sports-related emergencies with a new CPR & First Aid in Youth Sports™ Training Kit being offered y the American Heart Association (AHA). The kit, which is completely self-facilitated, with no additional training required for a facilitator, will teach those who use it the lifesaving skill of CPR, how to use an AED, and other first aid information.