Weekly news round-up
VPP problems, the NTSB’s “Ten Most Wanted” and water woes in West Virginia were among this week’s most-read EHS-related stories on ISHN.com:
Participants not necessarily the safest companies
OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) have come under fire from the Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General, which says the agency fails to ensure that only safe worksites remain in the program.
Do have your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year. Do install a battery-operated or battery back-up CO detector in your home and check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall.
The recent spate of airline flight cancellations due to the polar vortex was not made worse by the Departments of Transportation’s (DOT) new hours-of-service rules for pilots, according to the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA).
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) today released its 2014 Most Wanted List, the top 10 advocacy and awareness priorities for the agency for 2014, which for the first time includes improving operational safety in rail mass transit.
OSHA has launched a new educational Web resource which has extensive materials to help hospitals prevent worker injuries, assess workplace safety needs, enhance safe patient handling programs, and implement safety and health management systems. The materials include fact books, self-assessments and best practice guides.
Grain bin safety issues caused a furor
Congress is using an omnibus appropriations bill scheduled to be voted on this week to remind OSHA of a 36-year-old Congressional exemption that keeps small farms out of the agency’s regulatory reach. The language added to the bill “makes crystal clear…that OSHA policies and inspectors better get in line with the law,” according to U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.).
Insurance, time off affect business outcomes
Human resources policy in areas such as health insurance benefits, paid time off, and compensation are important "missing variables" in studies connecting health and business outcomes, according to a report in the January Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).
NIOSH FACE reports provide the stories
The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) has used reports produced by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) as the basis of three short training videos that vividly illustrate some of the hazards of construction work.
Results from the 2010 National Health Interview survey
A recent NIOSH study published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine showed that more than 7.6% of working Americans reported that they were mistreated at their workplace in 2010, and this mistreatment was associated with a 42% increase in the number of missed work days, controlling for covariates.
Bid to publicly post data draws most attention
OSHA’s proposal to improve the tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses will either improve worker safety or pose an undue burden on employers. Those are among the reactions being voiced by safety advocates and industry groups as OSHA holds public meetings on the proposal.
U.S. attorney is investigating company’s actions
The company responsible for the chemical spill that caused the loss of water service to thousands of West Virginia residents is the target of 18 lawsuits – so far – and a temporary restraining order that prohibits it from destroying or removing evidence from its facility.
Our respiratory tracts are affected by the air we breathe, and changes in season, temperature and air quality can increase Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) symptoms. During the winter, cold air can trigger a reaction that constricts the airway and decreases air flow into the lungs.
Ozone is a gas that you cannot see or smell. Ozone occurs naturally in the sky about 10 to 30 miles above the earth's surface. Sometimes, this ozone is called "good ozone" because it forms a layer that protects life on earth from the sun's harmful rays. Ground-level ozone, on the other hand, can be bad for your health and the environment.
NTSB wraps up on scene work, moves investigation to D.C. headquarters
The Dec. 30th train accident near Casselton, North Dakota caused an estimated $6.1 in damage – and promoted the evacuation of 1,400 residents. A preliminary report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) lays out the facts and figures behind the derailments and collision involving two BNSF Railway trains, but does not identify a cause.
Alcohol screening is neglected, says CDC
Only one in six adults -- and only one in four binge drinkers -- says a health professional has ever discussed alcohol use with them even though drinking too much is harmful to health, according to a new Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Particle pollution, or particulate matter, consists of particles that are in the air, including dust, dirt, soot and smoke, and little drops of liquid. Some particles, such as soot or smoke, are large or dark enough to be seen. Other particles are so small that you cannot see them.
Twenty-five million children in the U.S. ride the bus to and from school, spending an average of an hour and a half on a bus each day. Depending on the design of your child’s bus, it could be emitting harmful particles.
Obesity is associated significantly with the development of asthma, worsening asthma symptoms, and poor asthma control. This leads to increase medication use and hospitalizations. In 2010, the obesity rate among adults with current asthma (38.8%) was significantly higher than the rate among adults without current asthma (26.8%).
CSB to investigate chemical spill
Tests done this morning at a West Virginia water treatment facility show some improvement in water quality – a sign that area residents may soon be able to drink water from their own taps.