Weekly News Round-UpProposed oil & gas safety reg would be "terrible" for industry, says LOGA president

Requiring Stand-by-Vessels would cost millions

The following is an editorial by Don Briggs, president of the Louisiana Oil & Gas Association (LOGA):

The Gulf of Mexico is the oil and gas hub for the Western Hemisphere with several thousand platforms standing at any given time. As with any industry, safety is of utmost concern. When a platform is built in the Gulf, there are safety concerns for human life, aquatic life, the environment and the Gulf of Mexico itself, to name but a few. However, certain legislation is being proposed in the United States Congress that would be detrimental to the oil and gas industry and have a stifling financial impact on Gulf of Mexico drilling activity…Read more>>

Democrats, Republicans differ on worker health, safety and regs

Wondering what the official Democratic and Republican Party platforms have to say about occupational safety andhealth? Here are the relevant references from each platform:

Democratic Platform

The Democratic platform contains the following statements related to worker health, safety and rights:

“Because the President and the Democratic Party believe in the right to organize and in supporting America’s workers with strong labor laws, the President rolled back harmful labor policies designed to…Read more>>

Miss. woman impersonates OSHA trainer, defrauds Gulf fishermen desperate for work

A Mississippi woman has been indicted for impersonating an OSHA employee in order to conduct fraudulent hazardous waste safety training during the Gulf oil spill clean-up.

A 22-count federal indictment unsealed yesterday in federal court in New Orleans charged Connie M. Knight, 46, with impersonating a federal employee for the purpose of enticing people to pay her for fraudulent hazardous waste safety training. The indictment also charges Knight with possessing false federal identification documents, creating false…Read more>>

Workers could have been shredded; no LO/TO on 7,000 hp shredder

OSHA has cited Miller Compressing Co. in Milwaukee with two willful safety violations for allowing employees to perform maintenance on a shredder without first isolating the machine's energy source. The agency  opened an inspection upon receiving a complaint alleging hazards at the company's scrap processing facility. Proposed fines total…Read more>>

How to sit at a computer

If you spend at least several hours a day at a computer, you risk nerve, muscle, tendon and ligament damage damage in your hands, arms, shoulders neck and back, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).

Awkward postures and repetitive movements (50,000 to 200,000 keystrokes a day, for some people) can cause injuries to develop over time.Ergonomics experts say that a properly laid out workstation and correct posture techniques can help minimize…Read more>>

Shootings in U.S. hospitals rare but shooter typically "determined"

While shootings in U.S. hospitals typically generate widespread media publicity, the likelihood of being shot in a hospital is less than the chance of getting struck by lightning, according to Johns Hopkins research.

In a report published Sept. 18 in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, and conducted by four researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, the investigators reviewed 11-years of data and identified some disturbing flashpoints…Read more>>

Public health experts warn that budget cuts could jeopardize U.S. health

TheAmerican Public Health Association (APHA) is warning that budget cuts set to take effect in January of next year will compromise efforts to protect American’s health by slashing funding for food safety, environmental protection and immunization and family planning programs.

APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), said the report released recently by the White House Office of Management and Budget on the Sequestration Transparency Act showed that the across-the-board cuts would have a drastic affect on critical public health programs…Read more>>

Nano-safety studies urged in China

China should carry out more-extensive safety studies and improve regulatory oversight of synthetic nanomaterials, leading Chinese researchers said at the 6th International Conference on Nanotoxicology in Beijing this month.

“This is the only way to maintain the competitiveness of China’s nanotechnology sector,” says Zhao Yuliang, deputy director of the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ National Center for Nano­science and Technology (NCNST) in Beijing. “We certainly don’t want safety issues to…Read more>>

Construction deaths down for fifth straight year

One in four fall-related deaths involve a height of 10’ or less

Although falls continue to be a concern, just-released Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) figures on 2011 U.S. fatal occupational injuries show that fatal work injuries in the construction industry declined to 721 in 2011 from 774 in 2010 -- a decrease of 7 percent. This was the fifth consecutive year of lower fatality counts. Fatal construction injuries are down nearly 42 percent since 2006.

Those numbers are part of the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) program conducted annually by the BLS, which also shows that 4,609 fatal work injuries were recorded in the U.S. in 2011, down from…Read more>>