Weekly News Round-UpThe federal government’s semi-annual release of its regulatory agenda, a deadly commuter train derailment in the Bronx and Franken-French-fries are among this week’s top EHS- and health-related stories as featured on ISHN.com:

An arc flash victim tells his tale: “Tell my wife and kids I love them…”

On August 16, 2007, Master Electrician William Giffen, owner of CAMAND Electrical Services, Ottawa, Canada, and an experienced 17-year veteran of electrical maintenance services, was testing secondary fuses at a high-tech data center (after it was hit by lightning for the second time that day) when he was caught in an arc-flash incident at a 13.8kV switch.

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NJ fireworks firm fails to keep track of hazmats

No emergency exit plan for workers, either

OSHA has cited pyrotechnics manufacturer and fireworks display firm Garden State Fireworks for 12 safety violations, after an inspection in May under its Process Safety Management Covered Chemical Facilities National Emphasis Program

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CPWR offers new collection of safety toolbox talks to construction industry

Short safety lessons cover a variety of topics

If you’re in the construction industry and you’re making a New Year’s resolution to improve on-the-job safety in 2014, you might want to check out the Center for Construction Research and Training's (CPWR) new library of 52 toolbox talks on common construction hazards, which provides a short safety lesson for every week of the year.

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Latest federal regulatory agenda is full...of delays

The government’s regulatory road is long, with many a winding curve – as shown anew in the fall regulatory agenda released last week by the Obama administration. Many of the regulations included have been in the works for years due to a variety of factors: a lengthy rule-making process, industry opposition, and, in some cases, delays by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

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Company fails to train workers on propane HazCom

No hearing conservation, respiratory protection programs either

OSHA has cited plastic pipe manufacturer Endot Industries Inc. for 18 health and safety violations found at the company's facility in Rockaway, NJ. OSHA's inspection began in July based on a referral and as part of the agency's Site-Specific Targeting Program, which directs enforcement resources to high-hazard workplaces with the highest rates of injuries and illnesses.

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Oil and gas industry gets new guidelines for well construction interface

Post-Macondo task force recommended changes

A new bulletin just published by the American Petroleum Institute (API) covers the latest of several standards developed or strengthened as a result of post-Macondo task force recommendations. API Director of Standards David Miller said the publication bulletin for well construction interface will help the oil and natural gas industry produce energy safely and in an environmentally responsible manner.

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Ready for genetically engineered fast food fries?

Potatoes with altered DNA are pending approval by FDA

Environmentalists are urging McDonald’s to not use for its fries a new genetically engineered (GE) potato developed by its leading potato supplier. Advocacy group Food & Water Watch delivered a letter to the fast food giant last month signed by more than 100,000 Americans, urging McDonald’s to reject the use of the “Innate” brand GE potato developed by J.R. Simplot.

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Train engineer’s union kicked off derailment investigation by NTSB

ACRE violated confidentiality rule

The union representing the engineer at the helm of the commuter train that derailed Sunday in New York has been ousted from the investigation into the incident for being too chatty. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced yesterday that the Association of Commuter Rail Employees (ACRE) had been “relieved of party status” because ACRE violated the rules to which it had agreed.

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Arc flash burn consequences can include post-traumatic stress

When you think of electrical burns, you often think about injuries that come from direct contact with current – shocking experiences. Keep in mind electrical burn injuries are often compounded by thermal or heat burns from blasts or “arc flashes.”

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A NIOSH Science Blog post

Reducing worker exposure to ETS

By Kathleen Fitzsimmons MPH

What better time than during the American Cancer Society’s  annual Great American Smokeout, to highlight the benefit of  comprehensive smoke-free workplaces  on the health of workers. Furnishing a smoke-free work environment has been shown to both reduce exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) among non-smokers, and also to decrease smoking among employees.

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Ill. worker dies from heat stress his first day on the job

Company cited for lack of heat stress program

OSHA has cited Aldridge Electric Inc. for a serious safety violation after a 36-year-old worker died from heat stroke on his first day on the job at the company's Chicago job site. The company was installing electrical conduit in an uncovered trench on the Chicago Transit Authority's Dan Ryan Red Line project.

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NY train was speeding when it derailed

Would technology have saved four lives?

The New York commuter train that derailed Sunday morning, killing four people, was going 52 miles over the speed limit at the time of the derailment, according to National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators.

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Concrete co. worker dies in storage silo

Confined space requirements violated

Central Ready Mix LLC has been cited for 10 serious safety violations by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration after a 39-year-old plant operator was fatally engulfed in a fly-ash storage silo on Aug. 6 at the Middletown gravel company.

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Video games may actually be good for kids – in some ways

Researchers say negative affects shouldn’t be ignored, though

Playing video games, including violent shooter games, may boost children’s learning, health and social skills, according to a review of research on the positive effects of video game play published by the American Psychological Association (APA).

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Company owner sentenced to prison in employees’ deaths

Fatal explosion lead to manslaughter convictions

The owner of a New England munitions manufacturing company is heading to prison after being convicted on two counts of manslaughter in the deaths of two of his employees. Craig Sanborn was sentenced in Coös County Court in New Hampshire to five to ten years in prison in the May, 2010 explosion at his Black Mag LLC plant.

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Union, state clash over health care worker mask-or-flu-shot requirement

Patients may be "fearful" of the mask

The New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF) has filed a lawsuit in New York’s Supreme Court, challenging a rule that requires health care workers to either get flu vaccinations or wear surgical masks during flu season.

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Probe underway in deadly NY train derailment

Was speed a factor?

A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) go-team is in New York City today, combing through the wreckage of a passenger train that derailed Sunday morning, killing four people and injuring more than 60.

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Electrical workers are creatures of habit, too

Adapting to the safe work practices of NFPA 70E likely means some major changes in how your electrical workers have done things in the past. Your electrical workers likely didn’t think twice about opening an energized 480 volt electrical panel. Now with standards in place, they must first determine arc flash hazard levels, PPE, safety boundaries and fill out an energized work permit.

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Do you really need an arc flash study?

The short answer is, yes. OSHA requires industrial plants to adhere to the arc flash standards set forth by the National Fire Protection Association in the publication known as NFPA 70E.

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Many health care worker injuries caused by patient transfers

Updated equipment could help

The majority of occupational injuries suffered by clinicians and nurses are due to patient transfers, according to a recent survey, which found that one in three clinicians and nurses report being injured while moving patients from a bed to a chair.

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