Weekly News Round-UpCombustible dust hazards, MSHA finalizes rule on respirable coal dust and workplace violence in Georgia were among this week’s top EHS-related stories as featured  on ISHN.com.

Test your dust

By Tony Supine

The collection and testing of dust samples is a long-established practice used by industrial safety and hygiene professionals to make informed dust collection decisions. While dust-testing protocols have not changed markedly in recent years, the importance of dust testing has changed.

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Report: Most NY construction deaths preventable

A report released by the New York Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) indicates that construction is the deadliest industry in the state, and that immigrants comprise half of all construction deaths.

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Understanding the changes to dust explosion standard NFPA 654

NFPA 654: Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing, and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids contains comprehensive guidance on the control of dusts to prevent explosions. The following are some of its recommendations:

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How much does an amputation cost in recovery time?

The median number of days away from work due to amputations in 2005, the latest year studied by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, was 22 days – or more than four work weeks.

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May is Building Safety Month

May has been deemed Building Safety Month by the International Code Council (ICC), which wants to make the public aware of what it takes to create and maintain safe and sustainable structures.

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MSHA issues final rule reducing miners’ exposure to respirable coal dust

Black Lung disease linked to 76,000 miners' deaths since 1969

The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has released a final rule to lower miners' exposure to respirable coal mine dust in all underground and surface coal mines.

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Republic Steel agrees to $2.4 million settlement over 100 violations

Company inspected after worker fell through a roof

Republic Steel has agreed to settle health and safety violations at the company’s facilities in Lorain, Canton and Massillon, Ohio, as well as Blasdell, N.Y.

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AIHA, U.S. delegation to attend China COS+H Conference

The American Industrial Hygiene Association is putting together a U.S. delegation to a conference and professional development program taking place in Beijing, China from September 20-27 of this year.

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Combustible dust explosion and fire case studies

Organic Dust Fire and Explosion: Massachusetts (3 killed, 9 injured). In February 1999, a deadly fire and explosion occurred in a foundry in Massachusetts. OSHA and state and local officials conducted a joint investigation of this incident.

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AIHA proposes 2015 IH conference in India

The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) is proposing US-based industrial hygiene and occupational health organizations collaborate with the Central Indian Hygiene Association (CIHA) to develop and implement an Indian National Industrial Hygiene and Occupational Health Conference in Mumbai, India in February 2015.

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California bill to protect healthcare workers from violence moves ahead

Two nurses stabbed recently at L.A. hospitals

Registered nurses are among those keeping close watch on a California measure to protect the state’s healthcare workers from work-related violence as it moves from one Senate committee to another this week.

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Firefighting precautions at facilities with combustible dust

OSHA has just published a new booklet that outlines safe procedures for emergency responders who may face fires and explosions caused by combustible dust. "Firefighting Precautions at Facilities with Combustible Dust"describes how combustible dust explosions occur and uses historic incidents to illustrate how firefighting operations can prevent combustible dust explosions.

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Six employees shot at FedEx facility in Georgia

Gunman would "joke around about shooting up his workplace"

As the six FedEx workers who were shot Tuesday at a Georgia facility continue to recover, there are still no answers for why 19-year-old Geddy Kramer, the alleged shooter, brought a shotgun to work and opened fire on his fellow employees.

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Who is most likely to suffer MSD arm and wrist injuries on the job?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2012 these six occupations suffered the worst of hand and arm musculoskeletal disorder (MSD)  injuries, requiring the longest recuperation time:

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Workers Memorial Day: “Honor the dead, fight like hell for the living”

As workers, workplace safety activists and others gather in ceremonies around the country to commemorate Workers Memorial Day today, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka blasted business groups for blocking what he says are much-needed safeguards.

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AIHA on Workers’ Memorial Day: Despite progress, work not done

The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) is using Workers’ Memorial Day to renew its efforts to eliminate workplace hazards and maintain safe and healthy working environments,” says AIHA President Barbara J. Dawson, CIH, CSP.

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World Day for Safety and Health at Work

Report calls for measures to protect workers from toxic exposures

Negative effects on human health and the environment need to be reduced

With the safe use of chemicals at work designated as the theme for this year’s World Day for Safety and Health at Work (Workers’ Memorial Day in the U.S. and Canada), the International Labour Organization (ILO) has issued a report on steps that can be taken to safeguard workers from toxic hazards.

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ASSE rolls out an online directory of consultants

Need to find an expert to help with a regulatory compliance issue? Or something related to management systems? Or to best practices for your particular industry?

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Across the U.S., Workers’ Memorial Day events honor the fallen

Theme this year: toxic chemical exposure in the workplace

Today is Workers’ Memorial Day, on which individuals who have died on the job are honored in ceremonies all over the country. At the U.S. Department of Labor headquarters in Washington, D.C., Secretary Perez, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels and Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health Joseph A. Main will deliver remarks focusing on the hazards of toxic chemical exposure in the workplace – this year’s theme.

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Public safety

Battered Plains, Southern states brace for more tornadoes

Severe storms leave 18 dead over the weekend

Arkansas and neighboring states are picking up the pieces this morning after a series of tornadoes last night that killed at least 18 people – 16 of them in Arkansas alone. Rescuers whose search efforts were hindered by darkness fear that number may rise today as they resume their task, using bulldozers and backhoes to comb through the rubble.

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How does OSHA’s hazard communication standard apply to combustible dust?

The following are two “letters of interpretation” from OSHA officials answering questions from the field regarding how OSHA’s newly revised hazard communication standard applies to combustible dust.

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