Weekly news round-up
Chemical safety advocates lose a Senate supporter
A new killer virus, Chinese poultry plant workers die in a fire and a final rule for workplace wellness programs are among this week’s EHS-related stories as featured on ISHN.com:
A “potential” threat to national security – along with your health?
An illness which originated in September in the Middle East and has killed at least 30 of the 54 people infected appears to be raising alarms in the U.S. – but a move by public health officials may just be a strategy to prevent its spread.
Wind Energy workers are exposed to hazards that can result in fatalities and serious injuries. Many incidents involving falls, severe burns from electrical shocks and arc flashes/fires, and crushing injuries have been reported to OSHA. One example:
NIH, ONC, and EPA name winner of health and technology challenge
You’ll soon be able to calculate how much particulate matter you’re inhaling with the Conscious Clothing system, a wearable breathing analysis tool that uses groove strips, stretchy, conductive strips of knitted silver material wrapped around the ribcage, to measure breath volume, and collects and transmits data in real time, via Bluetooth, to any Bluetooth-capable device.
In 2004,OSHA issued citations and proposed penalties to Pieper Electric, Inc., of Milwaukee, Wis., for failing to protect workers from electrical hazards. The penalty and OSHA citations are based on an inspection initiated in September 2003 following an incident at a Racine, Wis., wastewater treatment facility where Pieper Electric was contracted to furnish and install various electrical equipment.
Modern economy not matched by modern safety standards
The death toll from Monday’s poultry plant fire in China has reached 119. Sources say the fire was caused by leakage in tanks of ammonia used as a coolant. In a scene reminiscent of New York’s fatal Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911, there were reports that workers trying to escape the fire found exits locked – to prevent theft and to keep them from stepping outside for breaks.
Grills cause thousands of home fires each year
With warm weather upon us and home cooks eagerly firing up the grills, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is recommending that grillers be mindful of safety. June and July are the peak months for grilling fires.
OSHA proposes $272,000 in fines against US Postal Service for exposing workers to electrical hazards
Four violations deemed "willful"
In a 2010 enforcement case, OSHA cited the U.S. Postal Service for workplace safety violations related to electrical hazards found at the Capitol Heights, Maryland, Processing and Distribution Center. Proposed penalties total $272,000.
Access, incentives, alternatives
Final rules related to employment-based wellness programs have been published, representing the last step in implementing the Affordable Care Act. Assistant Secretary of Labor Phyllis C. Borzi answered three frequently-asked questions about the rules:
Introduced Safe Chemicals Act in Senate
Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., died Monday at the age of 89 from viral pneumonia. First elected to the Senate in 1982, Lautenberg was the oldest member of the Senate.
Heat stroke kills 30 workers a year in U.S.
Construction workers in Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee learned about the dangers of working in summer heat at a one-hour safety stand-down today conducted by OSHA, employers and trade associations.
By Dave Johnson
OSHA cited O'Connell Electric Co. Inc. of Victor, N.Y., for 14 alleged serious violations of safety standards after a company employee was burned in an electrical arc flash on the North Campus of the State University of New York (SUNY) Buffalo. The electrical contractor faces a total of $88,200 in proposed fines.
By Dave Johnson
CATEGORY 0 -Protective Clothing, Non-melting or Untreated Natural Fiber (i.e. untreated cotton, wool, rayon, or silk, or blends of these materials) with a fabric weight of at least 4.5 oz/yd²
• Shirt (long sleeve)
• Pants (long)
Transparency, competitive advantage among reasons to report
Although sustainability reporting in accordance with the GRI Framework (GRI) or another standard involves a substantial workload, a new report offers insights into why many companies are opting to do it.
IT security getting special scrutiny
Oil and gas companies’ health, safety and environment (HSE) remains on top of the industry’s risk agenda according to Business Pulse: Exploring the dual perspectives of the top 10 risks and opportunities in 2013 and beyond, a new report released today by Ernst & Young.
Goal is to help regulators keep up with technology
As part of President Obama’s all-of-the-above approach to domestic energy development, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Director James Watson announced that the BSSE will establish an independent Ocean Energy Safety Institute (Institute) to further enhance safe and responsible operations across the offshore oil and gas industry.
Work demonstrates importance of industrial/occupational hygiene to worker health and safety
The American Industrial Hygiene Association© (AIHA) has been honored by the International Academy of Visual Arts and awarded two 2013 Communicator Awards for its video: “The Right Thing To Do — What is Industrial Hygiene?”
Regulations “are not enough”
In an effort to promote safety in the offshore oil and gas industry, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has released a nine-point Safety Culture Policy Statement.
Comfort versus protection
By Dave Johnson
Scenario: I am an electrician with thirty years of experience. Currently, I'm employed as an electrician by the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, at Orlando International Airport, FL. For the past ten years I have been wearing lightweight, light colored, loose fitting clothing while working in the heat and humidity.