Weekly News Round-UpA popular countertop product that brings increased silica hazards, welding safety tips and a railroad company prone to derailments turns out to have a deficient safety culture. These are among the top EHS-related stories this week as featured on ISHN.com:

ACGIH® honors its 2014 awards recipients

ACGIH® will honor its 2014 awards recipients at the American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition (AIHce) held May 31-June 5, 2014 in San Antonio, Texas. Each year, ACGIH® honors individuals and/or groups who have made significant contributions to the profession through their leadership and dedication. This year’s awardees join that distinguished list.

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Public hearings on OSHA’s silica proposal get underway

Dozens of associations and experts scheduled to speak

OSHA’s effort to reduce the permissible exposure limits for silica began a new phase this week, with an intensive three week period of public hearings that wrap up on Friday, April 4. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels said his agency’s rulemaking is an open process, “and the input we receive will help us ensure that a final rule adequately protects workers, is feasible for employers, and is based on the best available evidence."

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CSB makes its case for 2015 budget request

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has requested $12.25 million for fiscal year 2015 – an increase over the $11.484 million it requested in 2014. Chairperson Rafael Moure-Eraso said thefunds will enable the agency to continue to investigate high consequence chemical accidents, perform chemical safety studies, and advocate for effective safety recommendations.

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Workers dig 11’ trench with no cave-in protection

Colorado contractors cited for trenching hazards

A Colorado company and the framing subcontractor it used to locate a damaged water pipe have both been cited for safety violations, after OSHA inspectors found their workers in a trench that exceeded 11 feet in depth with no cave-in protection.

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How to train your situational awareness and recognize change

A man stepped off the curb and was killed by a vehicle running a red light. He was 40 years old and his life was over in one second. It’s scary easy to make the same mistake. While in England, a visitor checked for traffic and confidently began to step into the intersection, when his companion yanked him back.

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Silica hazards from engineered stone countertops

A NIOSH Science Blog post

A new engineered stone countertop product known as “quartz surfacing,” was created in the late 1980s by combining quartz aggregate with resins to create a product for use in home building and home improvement.  Manufacturing of this material, including products such as CaesarStone™, Silestone™, Zodiaq™, or Cambria™ is a fast growing industry.

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Bus driver hides dizzy spells, almost crashes bus

Passengers have to take the wheel

A commercial bus driver who failed to tell his medical examiner about episodes of dizziness and fainting has been ordered out of the driver’s seat after his medical condition nearly caused a bus filled with passengers to crash on an interstate highway.

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Take care of your vision after age 50

Since your 40s, you may have noticed that you needed glasses to see up close. You may have more trouble adjusting to glare or distinguishing some colors. These changes are a normal part of aging. They alone cannot stop you from enjoying an active lifestyle or maintaining your independence. But as you age, you are at higher risk of developing age-related eye diseases and conditions. These include the following:

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12 tips to improve welding safety

Best welding safety practices and equipment are universally applicable. Welding exposes everyone to similar hazards, whether you’re responsible for safety at a large, welding-intensive manufacturing company, a billion dollar engineering-construction firm or a small independent fabricator.

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MSHA's Main reaches out to National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association

In a meeting earlier this month with the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health Joseph A. Main updated NSSGA's board of directors on recent actions taken by the Mine Safety and Health Administration to improve miner safety and health.

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Schwan’s hit with 32 serious safety violations

Workers exposed ammonia, damaging noise, unguarded machines

An OSHA inspection at Schwan's Global Supply Chain Inc. resulted in dozens of citations against the frozen food manufacturer, along with Cimco Refrigeration Inc. and Adecco USA Inc., the companies who provide it with maintenance services and temporary employees.

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ASSE urges OSHA to withdraw proposed electronic reporting rule

American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) President Kathy Seabrook has issued the following response to OHSA’s electronic reporting proposed rule:

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How to protect vision in the workplace

The use of digital devices, including personal computers, tablets and cell phones, continues to increase.  And the impact of prolonged usage can often be felt in the eye. In fact, because of extended use of these devices, close to 70 percent of American adults experience some form of digital eyestrain, according to a new report from The Vision Council.

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Fix a Leak Week could save wasted water

Simple repairs can yield big water conservation benefits

The EPA is urging people to fix household water leaks this week, which has been designated asl Fix a Leak Week. Easy-to-fix household leaks account for more than one trillion gallons of water wasted each year across the U.S., equal to the annual household water use of more than 11 million homes.

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Report: Metro-North values on-time performance over safe operations

Railroad co. involved in derailments has “deficient safety culture”

Metro-North Railroad – whose train derailment in the Bronx in December killed four passengers and injured approximately 70 others – made being on time a higher priority than being safe, according to a recent report by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).

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Company installs machine guarding to comply, then removes it

Gaspar Inc. gets SVEP status

Workers at an Ohio boiler manufacturer were required to operate press brakes and a horizontal boring machine that had the machine guarding removed, according to OSHA investigators, who issued two willful citations for the hazard.

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What is the difference between glass, plastic, and polycarbonate safety lenses?

All three types of safety lenses meet or exceed the requirements for protecting your eyes. Glass lenses: are not easily scratched; can be used around harsh chemicals; can be made in your corrective prescription; are sometimes heavy and uncomfortable.

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