Weekly News Round-UpOSHA and the MSHA are back in business, a PSM case study in India and construction safety in NYC were among the EHS-related stories featured on ISHN.com this week:

NHTSA: US traffic fatalities decrease sharply this year

Motorcycle deaths buck the trend

The number of people killed in U.S. traffic accidents fell by 4.2 percent during the first six months of 2013, according to data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

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By the numbers: OSHA activity during the shutdown

Far fewer inspections

While the effects of the recent 16-day government shutdown are still being determined on a broad scale, a second OSH-related federal agency is showing signs of a significant lessening of activity during that time.

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Public health experts urge employers to help workers with diabetes prevention

Disease causes 15 million lost work days a year

In recognition of November as National Diabetes Month, the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) is urging employers to identify and respond to the impact of diabetes on worker health and productivity.

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Mercer announces ownership change

Mercer and a new independent business entity, ORCHSE Strategies, LLC, have signed an agreement for a management buyout of Mercer’s HSE Networks business, which was originally acquired by Mercer in 2010 as part of ORC Worldwide.

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Hand-washing: Do's and don'ts

Frequent hand-washing is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick and spreading illness. Hand-washing requires only soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer — a cleanser that doesn't require water. Find out when and how to wash your hands properly.

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Chemistry industry says OSHA safety tools are “too narrow”

ACC urges agency to get stakeholder input

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) is taking issue with an online tool developed by OSHA to help employers assess the relative safety of potential alternatives for hazardous chemicals. While the ACC said it welcomed OSHA’s recent launch of a website making it easier to access up-to-date information on Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) for the workplace, it feels more input is needed.

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OSHA’s Michaels still touting I2P2

In a press tele-conference last week, OSHA chief Dr. David Michaels once again took the opportunity to promote the much-ballyhooed and controversial Injury and Illness Prevention Plan (I2P2). “Certainly, we encourage employers to adopt and embrace I2P2,” he said. “In the VPP (Voluntary Protection Program) thousand of companies have adopted the principles of I2P2. So we know it works."

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MSHA announces results of August impact inspections

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration’s inspectors issued 213 citations, 23 orders and one safeguard during special impact inspections conducted at nine coal mines and five metal/nonmetal mines last month.

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No glove may be used as protection from all chemicals

A glove may protect against a specific chemical, but it may not protect the wearer from another. If a glove protects the wearer, it will not protect the wearer forever, as the glove material will deteriorate. Therefore, the following must be considered when choosing which gloves to be worn to protect against chemical exposures.

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Nursing facility exposes workers to needlestick injuries, contaminated clothing

OSHA has cited a Long Island health care facility for exposing its workers to bloodborne pathogens from a variety of sources. The Avalon Gardens Rehabilitation & Health Care Center Inc. in Smithtown earned 11 serious violations of workplace health and safety standards, with $41,000 in proposed penalties, following an inspection that was prompted by a complaint.

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Nanotechnology at your fingertips

The intricate properties of the fingertips have been mimicked and recreated using semiconductor devices in what researchers hope will lead to the development of advanced surgical gloves. The devices, shown to be capable of responding with high precision to the stresses and strains associated with touch and finger movement, are a step towards the creation of surgical gloves for use in medical procedures such as local ablations and ultrasound scans.

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Your hands have no fear

Next to our eyes, our hands are probably the most important part of our body when it comes to doing our work. They’re involved in almost everything we do. Yet many of the things we do with our hands are done without any deliberate thought.

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Fatal crane accident at Ark. nuke power plant leads to 26 citations

Four companies involved

Four Arkansas companies have been cited by OSHA as a result of a crane collapse in March that killed one worker and injured eight others. OSHA cited Precision Surveillance Corp., Bigge Crane and Rigging Co., Siemens Power Generation Inc. and Entergy Operations Inc. for 26 safety violations after one Precision Surveillance worker was fatally injured when a crane collapsed at the Arkansas Nuclear One Power Plant.

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MSHA issues first POV notices under new rule

One of the agency's "toughest" enforcement actions

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has put three mining operations on notice of a pattern of violations of mandatory health or safety standards under Section 104(e) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977.

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Recent North Dakota oil spill raises alarms about Keystone XL pipeline

“It’s not a question of if, but when”

Organizations opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline are pointing to a September oil spill that leaked 865,000 gallons of oil (at least 20,600 barrels) across seven acres a North Dakota farm as an example of what a spill of the same magnitude would mean for landowners along the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline route.

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NYC considers bill to tighten construction safety

As economy improves, construction activity, fatalities are increasing

The New York City Council Committee on Economic Development today holds a hearing on bill 1169-2013, which would set worker training and transparency requirements for certain city development projects receiving city financial assistance.

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OSHA’s pithy hand protection requirements

1910.138(a): General requirements. Employers shall select and require employees to use appropriate hand protection when employees' hands are exposed to hazards such as those from skin absorption of harmful substances; severe cuts or lacerations; severe abrasions; punctures; chemical burns; thermal burns; and harmful temperature extremes.

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OSHA extends comment period on proposed silica rule

Stakeholders get additional time with complex materials

Aaron Trippler called it: OSHA is extending the public comment period for for its proposed silica standard. The Government Affairs Director for the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) had said that even before the government shutdown shortened the comment period, some stakeholders felt that 90 days was too short a time period, given the complexity of the proposal.

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Most common hand and wrist injuries

While hand and wrist injuries are very common, some athletes and workers never seek treatment. But, delaying the diagnosis and treatment may result in long-term problems or even a permanent disability. Here is a list of some of the most common injuries that those who use their hands regularly experience.

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NTSB’s investigation into Asiana Flight 214 takes agency personnel to Korea

Hearing includes role of pilots in highly automated aircraft

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is convening a 2-day investigative hearing to discuss the ongoing investigation into the crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 and to gather additional factual information.

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An Indian oil company’s experience with implementing PSM

It’s been “a fruitful challenge”

An oil company’s adoption of process safety management (PSM) is the subject of an article in the November issue of Professional Safety, the American Society of Safety Engineers’ (ASSE) journal.

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