Weekly news round-up
CSB reports on Tesoro refinery blast; Supreme Court rules on PPE case
Another delay for OSHA’s silica rule, a pipeline explosion in Canada and workplace violence prevention training for nurses were among this week’s top EHS-related stories featured on ISHN.com.
Currently a large number of staff working on the infrastructure are at risk from injury by not wearing hand or eye protection. To further reduce the incidence of accidents and injury, the introduction of a mandated policy for both hand and eye protection will be developed concurrently.
A Florida rehabilitation offering help to people struggling with drug addiction and alcoholism exposed its workers to a variety of hazards, according to an OSHA investigation.
CSB IDs a “deficient refinery safety culture”
The April 2010 fatal explosion and fire at the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes, Washington was caused by damage to the heat exchanger, a mechanism known as “high temperature hydrogen attack” or HTHA, which severely cracked and weakened carbon steel tubing leading to a rupture, according to a CSB draft report released today.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that for legal purposes, protective items are not different from ordinary clothing, so workers at a U.S. Steel Corp. plant do not have to be compensated for the time they spend “donning and doffing” them.
Hand injuries account for 80 percent of all occupational injuries. This is because the hands are engaged in almost all activities on the job. Can you imagine any occupation that does not make use of the hand? Hands are so important because of their utility.
Community Health Systems already under injunctions for previous firings
Two nurses fired recently by Community Health Systems (CHS) say they were terminated for speaking out about rampant patient safety problems at the chain’s healthcare facilities. RNs Veronica Poss and Tim Thomas have been prominent RN public advocates at their respective hospitals in exposing what they describe as serious problems with patient safety, and calling for improvements.
CPWR research results:
Some construction workers at nuclear weapons facilities operated by the Department of Energy show symptoms of a chronic lung disease caused by exposure to beryllium, despite the fact that their exposure levels were relatively low.
TransCanada also owns Keystone XL pipeline
About 4,000 residents of southern Manitoba who rely on natural gas furnaces found themselves coping with wind chills of -45 Celcius (-49 Fahrenheit) yesterday without heat, after a gas pipeline exploded in the Canadian province early Saturday morning, sending balls of flame hundreds of feet into the sky.
Hand pain has many causes, including injury and disease. Fortunately, many of those causes can be treated and the symptoms eased. Here are some of the most common conditions that cause hand pain:
The CDC is offering an online course to help healthcare workers better understand the scope and nature of violence that can occur in their workplace.
Imagine life without the use of your hands. Suddenly, basic tasks in the workplace and at home – from operating a torque drill to turning the ignition key in your vehicle – become major obstacles. Clearly, our hands are vital tools for performing a myriad of essential life and work functions, not to mention the fact that they are one of our primary points of contact with the world around us.
The strategy: reduce, replace, reformulate
Think fast food is especially unhealthy? When it comes to sodium, dine-in restaurant fare is even worse. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would like both types of eateries to reduce sodium in their menu items – and it has suggestions for how to do that.
OSHA says that the employer shall ensure that each affected employee uses appropriate hand protection and other protective clothing where there is exposure to hazards such as skin absorption of harmful substances, severe cuts or lacerations, severe abrasions, punctures, chemical burns, thermal burns, harmful temperature extremes, and sharp objects.
Dukane Precast had previous confined space violations
An Illinois concrete company has been cited for safety violations by OSHA following the death of a temporary worker who was fatally crushed while working alone in a permit-required confined space on July 20, 2013.
Skin contact is a potential source of exposure to toxic materials; it is important that the proper steps be taken to prevent such contact. Most accidents involving hands and arms can be classified under four main hazard categories: chemicals, abrasions, cutting, and heat. There are gloves available that can protect workers from any of these individual hazards or any combination thereof.
Due to website glitch, deadline is now February 11
OSHA’s beleaguered proposal to reduce silica exposure levels for workers has encountered yet another delay, due to possible public confusion over an error on www.regulations.gov, the federal government's online portal for submitting rulemaking comments.
Risk assessment, regulations and leadership among topics
The American Industrial Hygiene Association’s (AIHA) Fall Conference Planning Committee is now accepting workshop proposals for EHS professionals who can lead 3 ½ hour seminars that combine a presentation with a group discussion.