Weekly news round-up
Good news about the aging workforce, the Obama administration accused of delaying rulemaking for political purposes and we don’t approve of speeding – even though we do it. These were among the top EHS-related stories featured on ISHN.com this week.
Citations issued in August, October and December
OSHA has cited Arlington Metals Corp. for 38 safety and health violations, which carry proposed penalties of $117,000. The agency initiated a safety and health investigation in June in response to a complaint filed by the United Steel Workers Union alleging unsafe working conditions at the Franklin Park metal strip and coil processing facility.
Citizens demand right to go along on state inspections
The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has been ordered by the state’s Surface Mine Board to allow citizens to take part in an inspection of strip mining near an historic site.
800+ people killed in crashes in 2012 holiday season
Just in time for the holidays, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has kicked off its annual "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" winter crackdown on drunk and drugged driving. This year’s campaign comes with a technology theme: a "Model Guideline for State Ignition Interlock Programs" that will help states develop and implement a breath alcohol ignition interlock program.
Pressure to work fast may be affecting safety
Construction on half of the dozen stadiums being erected for Brazil World Cup 2014 is behind schedule – and those working on the projects say the pressure to work quickly is affecting their safety. The death of a 22-year-old worker who fell more than 100 feet on Saturday at Arena Amazonia resulted in a strike by the builder’s union and a court order halting all high work on the project, according to the BBC News.
Kids, seniors especially vulnerable
Flu vaccination prevented an estimated 6.6 million influenza-associated illnesses, 3.2 million medically attended illnesses, and 79,000 hospitalizations during the 2012-2013 flu season, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).
U.K. study shows stress, lifestyle choices can make a difference
In a surprising finding, new research out of Great Britain shows that many employers in their 60s have a lower “relative vitality age” – and thus, lower health risks – than colleagues in their 30s. The Britain’s Healthiest Company Report* crunched numbers on nearly 10,000 people and concluded that the sexagenarians in the survey had lower health risks based on a “Vitality Age calculator” developed by PruHealth, a health insurer and wellness program provider.
Workers mixed hot quench water with propylene
An explosion in June at a Louisiana gas company that killed two workers and injured 80 people has resulted in $99,000 in fines for the company. Williams Olefins LLC in Geismar, La. was cited for six process safety management standard violations, including one willful.
One side says certain regulations hinder economic growth and pose a “burden” for companies. The other says those regulations protect workers’ health and safety. Sound familiar?
Behavioral threat assessment identified as most effective prevention strategy
There is no single personality profile that can reliably predict who will use a gun in a violent act — but individual prediction is not necessary for violence prevention, according to a comprehensive report on gun violence just released today by the American Psychological Association (APA).
Fla. roofing company cited in death
OSHA has cited Tim Graboski Roofing Inc. of Delray Beach for four safety violations, including two willful, following the death of a worker. OSHA also conducted a second inspection at a different company location as part of the agency's local emphasis program on fall hazards in construction.
Video: Speeches at National COSH gathering highlight current concerns
Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA and Dr. John Howard, Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), spoke recently at the 2013 National Worker Safety and Health Conference in Baltimore, Maryland.
Wants to lessen chances of another Chevron Richmond refinery fire
In a recently released draft report, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) proposes recommendations for substantial changes to the way refineries are regulated in California. Entitled “Regulatory Report: Chevron Richmond Refinery Pipe Rupture and Fire,” the CSB draft calls on California to replace the current patchwork of largely reactive and activity-based regulations with a more rigorous, performance-based regulatory regime – similar to those successfully adopted overseas in regions such as the United Kingdom, Norway, and Australia – known as the “safety case” system.
Citations add up to $41,000
OSHA has cited Emerald Coast RV Center LLC of Robertsdale for nine serious safety violations following an inspection at the recreational vehicle sales and service facility on Highway 59 South. Prompted by a complaint, the agency initiated an inspection in August, resulting in proposed penalties of $41,000.
Many feel that it's not dangerous for skilled drivers
The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released a new National Survey of Speeding Attitudes and Behavior in which nearly half of drivers surveyed say speeding is a problem on our nation's roads, and one in five drivers surveyed admitted, "I try to get where I am going as fast as I can."
Silica exposure limit one of the regulations mentioned in story
The Washington Post is reporting that the White House deliberately delayed rules affecting worker safety, the environment and the Affordable Care Act to prevent them from causing controversy prior to the election. Reporter Juliet Eilperin cited seven current and former administration officials in a lengthy article in the post, although none were identified by name.
Five were for confined space hazards
Rail Car Services LLC has been cited by OSHA for 11 safety and health violations, including eight repeat, at its Kansas City rail car refurbishing facility. An inspection began following a complaint about previously cited violations that resurfaced and involved fall protection and permit-required confined space hazards.
Here’s what to do about it
Sitting for long periods of time has emerged as a hot topic in occupational safety, and has been linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure, obesity and heart disease. In a finding disappointing to loyal exercisers, hitting the gym outside work hours does not seem to lessen those risks.