Weekly News Round-UpA construction coalition forms in response to OSHA’s silica proposal, the EPA lists safer FR chemicals and a felony penalty for a worker fatality are among this week’s top EHS-related stories as featured on ISHN.com:

Biomass plant noise “tortures” nearby residents, homeowners complain

Noise emitted by the new Gainesville, Florida  Renewable Energy Center-run biomass plant, which some have compared to the sound of screaming jet engines, moved about 10 Turkey Creek subdivision residents to voice their concerns at a recent Gainesville City Commission meeting, reports the Florida Alligator news.

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After fatal accident, feds shut down TX trucking company

REDCO showed “blatant disregard” for safety rules

On Aug. 12, 2013, a truck operated by Laredo, Texas-based REDCO Transport, Ltd. crashed into a van stopped on the shoulder of Interstate 20 in Louisiana. Three people, including the truck driver, were killed.

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When you want to travel in quiet...

Forbes magazine recently compared two kinds of noise-reducing headphones as they might be used by business travelers. Noise cancelling headphones use microphones to listen to the incoming sound then a processing creates inverse waves which get fed back into the headphones. These inverse waves cancel out the ambient sound. One way to think about this is if the ambient noise (an airplane engine, say), is “+1” the headphones create and add “-1” so your ear hears 0 (i.e. nothing).

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Decking collapse injures worker; company fined

Damaged support beams were not inspected

OSHA has cited RNC Industries LLC, a construction contractor, for repeat and serious violations of workplace safety standards following a March 29 decking collapse that injured a worker at a Manhattan construction site.

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Finger amputation leads to 21 citations against Mo. company

Machine not isolated from energy source

Piramal Glass USA Inc. has been cited by OSHA for 21 safety and health violations after a worker suffered a finger amputation while repairing a machine at the Park Hills manufacturing plant on March 14. Prior to maintenance, the machine was not isolated from its energy source. Proposed penalties total $137,400.

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French horn players at high risk of noise-induced hearing loss

Rock musicians not the only ones in danger

Professional French horn players may need to seriously consider adopting effective strategies to prevent noise induced hearing loss (NIHL). A new study published online in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (JOEH) found further evidence that French horn players are one of the most at-risk groups of developing NIHL among professional orchestral musicians.

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EPA issues info on FR substitutes for HBCD

The EPA has released a draft report on alternatives to a flame retardant chemical, hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), which has persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic characteristics.

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Seahawks fans set Guinness World Record for loudest stadium

Seattle Seahawks football fans went bonkers during the team’s NFL Week 2 matchup against the San Francisco 49ers and set a new Guinness World Record for the loudest stadium in sports history.

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AIHA backs bill to prevent injuries to healthcare workers, patients

Measure would establish a patient handling, mobility and injury prevention standard

The American Industrial Hygiene Association® (AIHA) has sent a letter to U.S. Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D. Mich.) supporting a bill that would protect both health care workers and patients from injuries.

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A NIOSH Science Blog post

Preventing deaths in manure storage facilities through proper ventilation

Incidents can develop into multiple fatalities

By Harvey Manbeck P.E., Ph.D and Dennis Murphy Ph.D., CSP

On farms, manure storage facilities are used to store animal waste, which can then be used for fertilizer. Farmers or farm workers may need to enter the facilities to repair or maintain equipment, such as pumps and intake hoses. These confined spaces are often oxygen-deficient atmospheres and can contain toxic and/or explosive gases that create a dangerous environment.

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Worker fatality results in $1.33 million in criminal, civil fines against S.D. company

Company agrees to expand safety & health department

Adams Thermal Systems Inc. has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office and OSHA to pay more than $1.33 million to resolve criminal penalties and OSHA fines levied as a result of the death of a worker on Nov. 7, 2011, in the company's Canton, S.D. plant.

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OSHA’s Maureen O’Donnell Joins the Academy of Industrial Hygiene as Vice President

O’Donnell will assume her term at the upcoming AIHA Fall Conference

Maureen O’Donnell, CIH, an industrial hygienist at OSHA’s Office of Health Enforcement, has been elected vice president of the Academy of Industrial Hygiene (AIH).

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Annual cost of fires in U.S.: $12.4 billion

Home fires account for most structure fires

Every 23 seconds, a fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the U.S., according to a new report released by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). "Fire Loss in the United States in 2012" provides a comprehensive look at fire in the United States, including civilian fire deaths and injuries, property damage and intentionally set fires.

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Oil & gas industry to observe safety stand down Nov. 14

Lots of industry-specific safety resources available

OSHA’s stand down program is coming to the oil and gas industry. During national stand downs, participants are asked to suspend work for at least one hour in order to allow employees to attend meetings and learn safety and health information specific to their industry.

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Construction industry fears silica proposal cost

Several provisions in rule "unnecessary" for worker protection

A coalition of construction industry trade associations is concerned that OSHA’s proposed reduction in silica exposure levels may cost construction firms a lot of money.

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Four workers suffer broken arms at Ohio plastics factory

No machine guarding on winder machine despite multiple injuries

Optimum Plastics Inc. has been cited by OSHA after four workers suffered forearm fractures while operating winder machines with inadequate guarding at the company's Delaware packaging plant. OSHA has cited three safety violations carrying proposed penalties of $81,000.

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