OSHA updates its silica NEP, pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities are on the rise and an employee’s fatal fall leads to prison time for a construction company owner.

CSHS takes lead role in coalition to advance worker safety and health

February 7, 2020

The Center for Safety and Health Sustainability (CSHS), whose member organizations represent more than 100,000 workplace safety and health professionals around the world, has signed on as a strategic partner of the newly launched Capitals Coalition. The Switzerland-based coalition, which unites more than 350 organizations globally, is a merger of the Natural Capital Coalition and the Social & Human Capital Coalition.


OSHA updates its silica national emphasis program

February 7, 2020

OSHA has made changes to its national emphasis program (NEP) on silica, which is intended to identify and reduce or eliminate worker exposures to respirable crystalline silica (RCS) in general industry, maritime, and construction. The NEP targets specific industries expected to have the highest exposures to RCS.


Stone products manufacturer cited for hazards following employee fatality

February 6, 2020

OSHA has cited Quartz and Stone Creations of New Hampshire LLC for crushing and other hazards following an employee fatality on July 19, 2019. OSHA cited the Northwood, New Hampshire, stone products manufacturer for 12 serious and six other-than-serious violations, which faces a total of $87,516 in penalties.


Should you be afraid to report workplace injuries?


Howard Ankin

February 6, 2020

Employees should not be afraid to report workplace injuries or hazardous conditions. The Occupational Safety and Health Act prohibits employer retaliation against employees who report workplace violations or file work injury claims. OSHA regulations mandate workplace safety for all employees.


8 more safety recommendations implemented from NTSB’s 2019 – 2020 Most Wanted List

February 6, 2020

Pipeline safety, helicopter emergency medical service flight operations safety and emergency response to railroad hazardous materials events were recently improved with the latest implementation of eight more safety recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) 2019-2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements.


CSB finalizes chemical incident reporting rule

February 6, 2020

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) has approved a final rule on accidental release reporting. The CSB has posted a prepublication version of the final rule available at the following link: https://www.csb.gov/assets/1/6/prepublicationcopy2-3-20.pdf. The official version is expected to be published early next week in the Federal Register.


Fun, healthy group fitness activities to try in 2020

Candice Dedmon

February 5, 2020

Finding a group activity that’s fun and promotes a healthy lifestyle can be challenging, especially if you want to think outside the box of a group spin class or yoga session. Fun fitness exercise options are out there, though, and engaging in group activities that get everyone moving can be advantageous for several reasons.


A FairWarning Story

Toll continues to mount for pedestrians and bicyclists, the victims in one in five traffic deaths

Hillel Aron

February 5, 2020

Policymakers have eagerly promoted walking and bicycle riding as a way to get healthy exercise while reducing traffic congestion, air pollution and carbon emissions. But those activities are becoming increasingly dangerous in America. More than 6,200 pedestrians were killed by traffic collisions in 2018, the last year for which federal statistics are available, continuing the rising trend of recent years.


Some prescription med users are skipping healthy changes

February 5, 2020

Heart-healthy lifestyle modifications are always recommended whether blood pressure or cholesterol medications are prescribed or not. However, a new study found that many patients let these healthy habits slip after starting the prescription medications, according to new research published today in the Journal of the American Heart Association.


One roofing contractor cited for fall hazards at three different worksites

February 5, 2020

A Pennsylvania roofing contractor faces $605,371 in penalties after being cited by OSHA for exposing employees to fall hazards at three separate worksites in the Lehigh Valley area. OSHA initiated an inspection of the Webb Contractor Corp. worksites on September 6, 2019, after a compliance officer observed employees performing residential roofing work without fall protection at a worksite in Macungie, Pennsylvania.


NTSB: Fatal S.C. bus crash shows importance of passenger restraints

February 4, 2020

A December 2019 crash involving an SUV and a 14-passenger coach bus in South Carolina resulted in fatalities, but it could have been worse, according to a preliminary report released last week by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The 2015 Chevrolet Equinox sport utility vehicle's airbag control mode indicates that the driver, a 53-year-old woman, was not wearing a seat belt. She was ejected from her vehicle and fatally injured during the crash sequence.


AHA calls for changes that address inequities in U.S. health care system

February 4, 2020

Improvements in the nation’s health care system – particularly changes that address inequities in care and the impact of social determinants of health – are necessary to achieve the goal to equitably increase healthy life expectancy in this country, according to a new advisory published by the American Heart Association, the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke.


Construction co. owner gets prison time after employee’s fatal fall

February 4, 2020

The former owner of a framing company in Florida has been sentenced to 30 days in prison, after pleading guilty to one count of willfully violating federal fall protection standards. Stalin Rene Barahona – former owner of the now-dissolved SB Framing Services Inc. in Naples will begin serving his sentence on Feb. 26, 2020.


CDC expects more coronavirus cases in U.S.

Person-to-person spread is occurring

February 4, 2020

Only four of the five latest confirmed 2019 novel coronavirus infections in the U.S. are people with a travel history to Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak, according to the CDC’s National Center for Respiratory Diseases. Its director, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, said at a press briefing yesterday that the fifth patient – who is in California - is a close household contact of another patient in California.


Fatal U.S. mining accidents dropped in 2019

Respirable quartz and dust fell to all-time low

February 3, 2020

There were 24 mining fatalities in the U.S. in 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reports. This is the fewest annual fatalities ever recorded, and only the fifth year in MSHA’s 43-year history that mining fatalities were below 30.


Mich. school district surveilled, fired employer who blew the safety whistle

Asbestos, pesticide exposure at core of case

February 3, 2020

A school district in Michigan ran afoul of federal laws protecting whistleblowers when it fired an employee who reported unsafe working conditions. That determination against the Dearborn Heights School District – made last week by OSHA - carries with it a $102,905.78 penalty, for back wages, damages and other compensation.


Researchers: Take-home workplace contaminants are a public health hazard

February 3, 2020

Workplace toxins that are inadvertently tracked by employees into their homes serve “as an intriguing example of how occupational conditions can have broader public health consequences,” according to scientists who’ve studied the problem. In Eliminating Take-Home Exposures: Recognizing the Role of Occupational Health and Safety in Broader Community Health, researchers reframe the problem as one arising from unsanitary worker behavior – the current thinking – to a larger issue that needs to be viewed through an ecosocial lens in order to institute effective prevention.