Weekly News Round-UpFrom a new NIOSH initiative for a safe, skilled workforce to an update on pending occupational health and safety legislation to a report on the Chevron refinery fire in Richmond, here are the week’s top OEHS-related news stories as featured on ISHN.com:

NTSB investigating deadly helicopter, ship accidents

Eight fatalities in all

The National Transportation Safety Board will meet next week to determine the probable cause of two 2011 accidents that claimed the lives of eight people and left six others with serious injuries.

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Worker paralyzed after 20’ fall

Ryan Roofing Inc. in Salina, Kansas cited by OSHA

Six months after an accident that resulted in a worker being paralyzed, OSHA has concluded its investigation into the incident and issued three citations against the employer, Ryan Roofing Inc. The worker is paralyzed after falling 20 feet from the roof of a commercial building the company was replacing on Oct. 3, 2012.

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The safe, skilled, ready workforce initiative from NIOSH

NIOSH wants young, new workers to have core safety competencies

Business and civic leaders, the labor community, economists, and educators are talking about the future of the American workforce. As the saying goes, the future begins now. News stories abound about the “skills gap”—in nursing, manufacturing, engineering, computer technology and other fields—that require postsecondary technical education and training.

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Scientist stumbles onto a cure for color blindness

New glasses may let sufferers see the spectrum

Out in the world, one out of every 10 men have some form of color blindness, according to Yahoo! News. While it’s not the most debilitating genetic irregularity, color blindness can still make everyday tasks, such as getting dressed, difficult.

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Be safe – know what’s below before digging

April is National Safe Digging Month

Now that the weather in many parts of the country has warmed up, more people will be working outdoors, whether professionally or on projects of their own. The American Petroleum Institute (API) is reminding homeowners and anyone else who’ll be doing a digging project to call 811 first.

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OEHS rules in the making

Silica stuck, combustible dust the subject of a bill

Combustible dust, mine safety and silica are some of the subject of bills that are currently making their way through – or are stuck in – the legislative and regulatory pipelines. Aaron Trippler, Government Affairs Director for the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), provides a rundown in his “Happenings on the Hill:”

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OSHA citations like déjà vu for NY metal fabricator

Rothe Welding faces $50,000+ in new penalties for old violations

OSHA has cited Rothe Welding Inc. of Saugerties for alleged failure to abate and repeat and serious workplace health violations, some of which refer to a previous 2012 OSHA inspection.

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U.S. doctors lead in wellbeing, transportation workers lag

Farmers, foresters get most exercise

In the United States, physicians lead all major occupational groups in overall wellbeing, followed by school teachers and business owners. Transportation workers have the lowest wellbeing scores, behind manufacturing and production workers.

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OSHA and NIOSH to co-host free webinar on preventing falls in construction

Registration now open

At 11 a.m. EST on April 10, OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the National Occupational Research Agenda Construction Sector Council will co-moderate a free webinar on preventing deadly falls in construction.

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Oklahoma refinery explosion kills two workers

Wynnewood Refining Co. named a Severe Violator

An OSHA investigation following the death of two workers at a crude oil refinery in Wynnewood, Oklahoma resulted in fifteen serious citations against Wynnewood Refining Company – earning the company a spot in the agency’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP).

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NIOSH to hold public meeting on respirator certification fees

Manufacturers, others can make presentations

Respirator manufacturers, industries that rely on NIOSH-approved respiratory equipment and other stakeholders can present information on the potential impacts of a proposed amendment to the Respirator Certification Fees rule at an upcoming public meeting.

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CDC’s hard-hitting anti-smoking campaign is back

Emotional messages, real life stories

Last year’s national education ad campaign, "Tips from Former Smokers," was so successful that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched a new series of ads along the same lines.

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Blinking combats computer vision syndrome

Opthamologists recommend the 20/20/20 method - plus 20

Working all day in front of a computer screen can result in eye fatigue but a U.S. optometrist says breaks and blinks helps combat computer vision syndrome, according to UPI. The American Optometric Association defines computer vision syndrome as the complex of eye and vision problems related to near work that are experienced during or related to computer use.

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Senate bill could change OSHA

Some safety violations could lead to felony charges

Felony charges for some violations and higher penalties for others are among the provisions in a bill introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Patty Murry (D-Wash.). If enacted, Senate Bill 665 -- the Protecting America’s Workers Act (PAWA) – would make significant changes in the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

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EPA updates mercury and air toxics standards for new power plants

Agency also proposes updates to oil and gas storage tank standards

The EPA has issued updates to pollution limits for new power plants under the mercury and air toxics standards, based on new information and analysis that became available to the agency after the rule was finalized.

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Court denies bid to block CSB from investigating Macondo incident

For three years, Transocean has refused to cooperate

A federal court yesterday upheld the legal authority of the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) to investigate the April 2010 Macondo blowout and explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. U.S. Federal District Court Judge Lee Rosenthal issued an Order that denied a motion by Transocean Deepwater Drilling, Inc. to block the CSB’s access to information pertinent to the CSB’s investigation.

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Distracted driving in the United States and Europe

Take steps to be safe on the road. Start by practicing good driving habits. Don’t text and drive.

Have you ever read or sent a text message while driving and then had to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting another car? Or have you missed an exit or turn because you were distracted by a phone call? It only takes seconds for a crash to happen.

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CSB ready to go public with report on Chevron refinery incident

Workers engulfed in vapor cloud, residents evacuated after toxic release and fire

A hydrocarbon release at a Chevron refinery in Richmond, California last August engulfed nineteen workers in a vapor cloud and sparked a fire that caused nearby residents to be evacuated. Now the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) is preparing to make public the results of its investigation into the incident.

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Blindness treated by implantable telescope lens

Three Maryland patients have received implantable miniature telescopes (IMTs) to reverse the blindness caused by age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to the website The Inquisitr. The announcement came from the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins, which also participated in the trials to earn FDA approval for the device in 2010.

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School leadership is more complex, challenging, and stressful, survey shows

As major changes in education loom and cuts in many public school budgets continue, the job of running the nation’s schools has become more complex, challenging, and stressful, the new MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Challenges for School Leadership (2012) reveals.

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