Weekly news round-up
OSHA rulemaking, temp workers around the world and the high fall fatality rate of communications tower workers were among the top EHS-related stories this week on ISHN.com.
“You can bet the lawsuits will be flying”
OSHA will be spending the rest of 2014 holding public hearings and reviewing the approximately 3,000 comments it has already received on its proposed crystalline silica rule. Although OSHA chief Dr. David Michaels has stated the the silica rule – which would reduce occupational exposure limits to the substance – is the agency’s top priority, the issue is “a long, long way from every being finalized,” according to Aaron K. Trippler of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA).
Two workers severely burned in chemical spill
The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) is demanding access to the Tesoro refinery in Martinez, California, in order to investigate a Feb. 12 chemical spill that resulted in first- and second-degree burns to two workers.
‘Permatemping’ cases highlight lack of U.S. protections for temp workers. Other countries limit the length of temp jobs, guarantee equal pay and restrict dangerous work.
By Michael Grabell, ProPublica
For nearly six years, Limber Herrera has toiled as a temp worker doing the same work for the same company in Mira Loma, Calif. About 40 hours a week, he unloads shipping containers for NFI—one of the largest freight distribution firms in America—moving goods that will eventually stock the shelves of Walmart and Sam’s Club.
“Scales are tipping” for U.S. kids aged 2-5
The obesity rate among American children aged 2 to 5 years dropped sharply from 2003-04 to 2011-12, from 14 percent to just over eight percent.
AIHA’s Trippler talks political priorities
It’s a subject that never seems to go away. Just when Congress has succeeded in finalizing the FY14 federal budget, the FY15 budget is ready to push its way onto the agenda and demand attention. How quickly will it get it?
FALLS ARE THE LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IN CONSTRUCTION. In 2010, there were 264 fall fatalities (255 falls to lower level) out of 774 total fatalities in construction. These deaths are preventable. Falls can be prevented and lives can be saved through three simple steps: Plan. Provide. Train.
The highest paid people in America today work an average of 59 hours per week. They read an average of 2-3 hours per day. They belong to industry associations and organizations that encourage the individual to dedicate themselves to lifelong learning with current information and ideas on their fields. Continuous education for them means that they attend annual conventions and go to every session available that has new insights that can help them to be more effective in getting the results for which they are responsible.
Hello to all. ISHN magazine is searching for examples, case studies, of creative safety in action. These are to be short, 500 words or less, anecdotes of safety campaigns, training activities, practices that reduced injuries, practices that increased employee engagement in safety, practices that got senior leaders more engaged in safety.
“Too much to do”
More than a quarter of American workers always go to work when they’re sick, according to a new survey from NSF International, a global public health and safety organization. The survey found that an additional one-third (34 percent) wait until they experience the full effect of their symptoms before deciding to stay home.
Smartphones and tablet computers are radically transforming how we access our shared knowledge sources by keeping us constantly connected to near-infinite volumes of raw data and information. We enjoy unprecedented instant access to expertise, from informal cooking lessons on YouTube to online university courses. Every day people around the globe are absorbed in exciting new forms of learning, and yet traditional schools and university systems are still struggling to leverage the many opportunities for innovation in this area.
November 8, 2013 letter from OSHA HQ to OSHA regional administrators
In the past few months, the communication tower industry has experienced an alarming increase in the number of injuries and fatalities occurring at communication tower worksites. As of September 3, 2013, there have been a total of 14 incidents, which is more than the last two years combined. OSHA is aware that there has been an acceleration in communication tower work during the past year due to cellular infrastructure upgrades, and the Agency is concerned about the possibility of future incidents.
Feds, railroad industry agree to slower speeds, better emergency response planning
In the wake of a series of fatal and environmentally catastrophic train accidents, the railroad industry and federal regulators have agreed on a set of voluntary measures intended to increase the safety of crude oil train shipments.
Devices will revolutionize eLearning
Tablet trifecta- The combination of mobility, larger screen size, and greater computing power makes tablets an ideal mobile device for accessing a wide range of training and educational content—from e-textbooks to Web-based courses to decision-support apps. Producers of eLearning who understand the devices’ potential—and limitations—will be able to create truly innovative, effective tablet-based learning experiences that wow and delight learners.
OSHA focuses on protecting cell tower employees after increase in worksite fatalities
A maintenance worker fell to his death Jan. 31 from a cell tower in Cameron County, Texas. The next day, a cell phone tower collapsed in Clarksburg, W.Va. Minutes later a second tower at the same Clarksburg site also fell. The collapse of these two towers resulted in the deaths of two workers and a firefighter responding to the scene, and sent two other employees to the hospital with serious injuries.
In the wake of recent train derailments and oil leaks, the oil and natural gas industry says it is working collaboratively with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and America’s railroad industry to improve rail safety.