Weekly news round-up
NIOSH's budget poised for a cut, pilot in fatal helicopter crash was texting instead of checking fuel
From hearings on President Obama’s choice to head up the EPA to NIOSH targeted for a massive budget cut to eye and vision health, here are the week’s top OEHS-related stories as featured on ISHN.com:
CDC warns that use of portable generators can endanger energy workers
With spring storms capable of bringing with them high winds and a considerable potential for damage, it is important to be prepared for power outages – especially in the workplace, where they can result in accidental electrocutions.
Missouri levee project threatens the nomination process
President Obama’s pick for EPA administrator goes on the hot seat today. Gina McCarthy, the Environmental Protection Agency's top air quality official since 2009, will appear before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee as part of a nomination process that is already embroiled in a political spat.
ERCs, AFF program among areas that lose funding
Reactions to the budget proposed yesterday by President Obama have been swift and sharp, but they will probably prove to be sound and fury, signifying nothing, if Aaron Trippler’s predictions are accurate.
More technology will be leveraged to “transform”agency
The Obama Administration today proposed a Fiscal Year 2014 (FY 2014) budget of $8.153 billion for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This request is $296 million below the EPA’s budget for Fiscal Year 2012.
OSHA: Workers were in danger
OSHA has cited Nuway Tobacco Co. for 22 alleged serious violations of workplace safety and health standards at its South Windsor manufacturing facility. The tobacco sheet manufacturer faces $59,869 in proposed fines following an inspection by the agency’s Hartford Area office.
Lagging productivity also a concern
For the third year in a row, lack of high-potential leaders is the most pressing concern for human resources executives, with 32 percent putting it at the top of their list in a recent survey by Right Management.
One worker seriously injured in blast
An explosion at a flour mill in Statesville, N.C. last weekend that seriously injured a worker highlights the need for a combustible dust standard, says the National Council of Occupational Safety and Health.The blast at the Bartlett Milling Co. occurred while two maintenance workers were repairing a piece of equipment.
Pilot made multiple personal calls & texted during critical decision-making period
A pilot’s decision to depart on a mission despite a critically low fuel level as well as his inability to perform a crucial flight maneuver following the engine flameout from fuel exhaustion was the probable cause of an emergency medical services helicopter accident that killed four in Missouri, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said yesterday.
Link to asthma, other respiratory problems highlighted
While brief episodes of mold in a building are normal and pose little risk to health, persistent dampness and mold damage requires prevention, management and effective remediation in order to reduce new onset asthma, lead to savings in health care costs, and improve public health.
One fatality, multiple injuries from leaks
The EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice have announced a settlement with Tyson Foods, Inc. and several of its affiliate corporations over incidents in which anhydrous ammonia was released at facilities in Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, and Nebraska, resulting in multiple injuries, property damage, and one fatality.
New TV ads focus on potential for oil spills
“Are you willing to risk Nebraska’s future for foreign profit?” asks one of the state’s farmers, in one of the national TV ads launched this week by a coalition of groups opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline.
“Hazards can vary from location to location”
OSHA is proposing $40,000 in fines for CVS Pharmacy Inc. for an alleged repeat violation of safety standards following an inspection of the retailer's Red Hook store by OSHA's Albany Area Office begun in January in response to a complaint.
Vitamin A has one super-specific job
If you hated carrots as a kid, you probably got plenty of finger-wagging from various adults, all of whom had the same kernel of truth: you have to eat them, because they’re good for your eyes. But, like most things adults told you when you were a tyke, you probably disregarded it as a mythical mantra, mean to make you miserable, according to the blog Blisstree.
SH&E pros must learn power of persuasion
There’s a link between how organizations are structured and how strong their commitment to safety is, according to an article in this month’s ASSE Professional Safety journal, The Dissenting Voice – Key Factors, Professional Risks and Value Add.
Supports pending bill, but suggests changes
The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) says it supports a bill that would direct OSHA to to issue an interim and final standard regarding worker exposure to combustible dust – with some reservations.
New state program encourages contractors to develop work zone safety programs
The Indiana Department of Labor (IDOL) has launched a statewide safety initiative aimed at reducing workplace transportation-related deaths. In 2012, three Hoosier construction workers were killed while in a work zone.
Problems can sneak up on you
When it comes to maintaining good eye health, those cherry-red Prada glasses you keep passing in the window are not the end of the discussion. Along with your general doctor and gynecologist, an eye doctor is also key, according to the blog Blisstree.