Weekly news round-up
Preventable railroad deaths, safe patient lifting technology, electrocution hazards
More fallout from those Louisiana chemical plant explosions, the compliance date for anti-fatigue rules for truckers draws near and the winner’s of ISHN’s first-ever Readers’ Choice Awards were all in the news this week:
Union Pacific recertified him despite problems
Despite having such poor vision that he drove with a restricted (auto) license, a train engineer was medically recertified by his employer, Union Pacific Railroad. Those vision problems contributed to fatal 2012 head-on collision between two freight trains in Oklahoma, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
Best practice development, outreach programs part of effort
In recent months, we have received many reports of temporary workers suffering fatal injuries — some during their first days on the job. One of our most recent high-profile enforcement cases was with Bacardi Bottling Corp. following the death of a 21-year-old temporary worker. LAWRENCE DAQUAN "DAY" DAVIS was crushed to death on his very first day at work while he was cleaning up glass inside a palletizer at the Florida bottling facility.
Industry says it will affect productivity, increase driver fatigue
A new rule that limits the number of hours truckers can drive takes effect July 1st – but that’s not stopping the debate over it. Under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) hours-of-service rule, drivers will be able to drive 12 fewer hours per week and will be required to take regular 34-hour rest periods that include pre-dawn hours of two straight days, under the rule.
One facility had history of violations, leaks
June 20, 2013
A series of recent chemical plant explosions – including two fatal ones in La. last week – has safety advocates once again calling for stronger federal legislation for chemical plant safety and security. A total of three workers were killed and approximately 80 others injured in the two La. incidents.
Separation from physical health concerns should end
Mental health professionals need to be part of primary care teams to ensure that patients get complete care that addresses both mental and physical health, according to the head of the American Psychology Association (APA). In a panel hosted recently by the White House’s National Conference on Mental Health, Norman B. Anderson, PhD, said the U.S. needs to end the traditional separation of substance abuse and mental health problems from physical health problems.
No emergency eyewash station in the acid room, either
A worker who sought emergency treatment for leg burns due to an acid spill alerted OSHA to a lack of PPE at a company that uses acid, hazardous chemicals, lead and cadmium in its Illinois manufacturing facility. The company, Advanced Strobe Products, manufactures strobe and other lights for the aerospace, photographic, vehicular, warning, beacon, and machine industries.
Resources help you get ready for hurricanes, tornadoes -- and terrorism
Keeping workers safe involves more than dealing with work-related hazards. The natural disasters that wreak havoc on homes – as we see so often in media reports – also affect businesses, and the people in them. Fortunately, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a wealth of resources to help EHS practitioners cope with disasters.
Thousands of Industrial Safety & Hygiene News subscribers jumped online to vote in ISHN’s 2013 Readers’ Choice Awards between March 1 and May 1, 2013. The results are in, and ISHN Publisher Randy Green has released the list of winning entries.
The death of a railroad foreman who was struck by a train last month has led to urgent recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for ways to improve safety for track maintenance crews to provide signal protection.
New NIOSH app lets you make sure the angle is just right
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has produced a new smart phone app that enhances ladder safety. The app uses visual and audio signals to make it easier for workers using extension ladders to check the angle the ladder is positioned at, as well as access useful tips for using extension ladders safely.
A typical bedside nurse lifts two tons per day
Patients in healthcare facilities are in danger when they’re being moved or lifted because of institutional resistance to using available technology, according to a new report from an advocacy group. And patients aren't the only ones at risk of injury.
Digital x-rays now allowed in benefits process
A federal rule restricting workers’ compensation claims to black lung diagnoses based only on film radiographs has been updated to embrace the digital age. The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Workers' Compensation Programs has published for public comment a direct final rule and a companion proposed rule adopting updated standards for administering and interpreting digital radiographs for the Federal Black Lung Program.
Thousands of Americans at risk
An online information source is reporting that the Williams Olefins chemical plant that exploded Thursday in southern Louisiana has not been inspected by OSHA in at least two decades.
Patient with violent past kills caseworker
A young caseworker was stabbed to death with a butcher knife last December by a patient she was meeting with for a required face-to-face hospitalization risk assessment.
Since the Rana Plaza building collapse killed more than 1,100 people in April, retailers have faced mounting pressure to improve safety at Bangladesh garment factories and to sever ties with manufacturers that don't measure up.
Investigations into causes underway
Both OSHA and the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) are investigating Thursday’s explosion at the Williams Olefins plant in south Louisiana -- which was followed a day later by another fatal chemical plant blast only a few miles away.
Workers exposed to 13,200 volt unguarded, live power lines
Undeterred by cease and desist orders issued by the Long Island Power Authority, three New York contractors exposed their employees to electrocution hazards from working in close proximity to power lines, according to OSHA.