Weekly News Round-UpOSHA backs down from proposed changes to its On-Site Consultation Program, good news about U.S. mining fatality rates and reasons why some construction workers don’t report injuries are among the top EHS-related stories featured this week on ISHN.com:

Indiana sues AT&T for suspending injured workers

Company claims actions were for violating safety policies

A lawsuit filed by the Indiana Department of Labor alleges that Indiana Bell Telephone Co., an AT&T subsidiary, “has a practice and policy” of suspending employees after they report work-related injuries.

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Texas worker suffocates in grain bin

“This tragedy was preventable”

OSHA has cited Azteca Milling LP in Edinburg for seven serious safety violations following a February incident when a worker inside a grain silo, attempting to move clumped corn byproducts, was engulfed, asphyxiated and then died.

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Federal OSH law doesn’t trump state worker’s comp law

Wisc. worker's injury due to OSHA standard violation

A Wisconsin company that protested paying extra worker’s compensation under the state’s safe place statute failed to convince an appeals court that federal law preempts law requiring employers to pay penalties when workplace safety violations cause injuries.

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Some flame retardants may affect endocrine system

Many FRs no longer produced in U.S.

By determining the three-dimensional structure of proteins at the atomic level, researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have discovered how some commonly used flame retardants, called brominated flame retardants (BFRs), can mimic estrogen hormones and possibly disrupt the body’s endocrine system.

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OSHA withdraws proposed rule to amend On-site Consultation Program

Stakeholders worried about consequences

OSHA has withdrawn a proposed rule to amend its regulations for the federally-funded On-site Consultation Program, a free and confidential health and safety advice to small- and medium-sized businesses in the U.S., with priority given to high-hazard worksites.

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CSB uses video to drive home need for reactive chemical regulations

“This situation must be addressed”

Frustrated by the lack of federal regulatory action in the wake of the April 17 West, Texas chemical factory explosion, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has released a new video to illustrate the scope of the hazard.

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Worker at chocolate company gets hand crushed

OSHA finds lack of hazardous energy controls

OSHA has cited Tsudis Chocolate Co. Inc. for 19 alleged safety violations at its Pittsburgh manufacturing facility. Proposed penalties total $87,260.

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Gas pipe explosion kills restaurant worker, injures three contractors

Contractor breached natural gas pipe

Both a contractor and a restaurant have been cited by OSHA in the death of a restaurant employee, who died in a Feb. 19th explosion and fire at the business. The incident was caused by an uncontained natural gas leak released from an underground 2-inch natural gas transmission pipeline.

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Fewer miners killed in underground coal roof falls

Retreat mining fatalities “virtually eliminated”

The number of U.S. miners killed in underground coal roof falls has been dramatically reduced since 2007, and fatalities resulting from retreat mining have been virtually eliminated, according to figures from the Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).

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Wisc. company failed to evacuate workers during a gas leak

Inspection uncovers 17 violations

A complaint that workers were not evacuated during a natural gas leak brought OSHA to Badger Metal Finishing Inc.’s St. Francis metal finishing facility, where the agency found 17 safety violations. Proposed penalties total $46,200.

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Number of U.S. Lyme disease cases much higher than expected

“A tremendous public health problem”

Approximately 300,000 are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year, according to a newly released estimate by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The estimate is based on medical claim, a survey of clinical laboratories and a survey of the general public.

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Memorial wall highlights work zone danger

Names of fatalities a reminder of the human cost of dangerous driving

As it has since 2002, the Illinois State Fair this year hosted a somber reminder of a transportation hazard: a wall memorializing the names of those killed in highway work zones.

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NIOSH updates PPE research plan for healthcare workers

New studies, priorities being taken into account

NIOSH’s personal protective technology (PPT) program is being revised to reflect recent studies and changes in national priorities related to PPE for healthcare workers.

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Why construction workers don’t report injuries

Reasons range from incentive loss, fear of job loss

More than 25% of construction workers responding to a recent survey by the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) said that they had suffered a work-related injury at some point in their career that they did not report.

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Social media campaign spreads pictures of unsafe construction sites

Twitter, blog being used to ID, explain hazards

Unsafe construction sites now the run the risk of being “outed” on social media, thanks to a campaign that invites people to potentially unsafe circumstances and share them via social media platforms.

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Combustible dust builds up at TX manufacturer – again

Similar violations cited in 2012

OSHA has cited Cardell Cabinetry LLC with 29 safety and health violations and a proposed penalty of $267,434 for failing to remove hazardous levels of combustible dust at the company's facility on North Panam Expressway in San Antonio.

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