The mining disaster in Turkey, occupational hazards aboard the International Space Station and the global toll of alcohol were among this week’s top EHS-related news stories as featured on


NY to fine railroad company for not disclosing crude oil train derailment

Canadian Pacific Railroad cars derailed Monday in Albany

New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Commissioner Joan McDonald said the Department will issue the maximum fine allowed under state law to Canadian Pacific Railroad  for failing to report, as required, the derailment of four tank cars carrying crude oil early Monday morning in Albany.


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EPA extends comment period for farm worker pesticide exposure proposal

The EPA is extending the comment period for the proposed revisions to the agricultural Worker Protection Standard for an additional 60 days, until August 18, 2014, in response to requests from growers, industry, farmworker advocates and states for additional time to provide input.


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WHO calls for stepped-up prevention of alcohol-related deaths and diseases

The World Health Organization says an alarming new report showing that 3.3 million deaths across the globe in 2012 were due to the harmful use of alcohol highlights the need for action to reduce that number.


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True U.S. worker death toll likely much higher than official figures

Despite significant advancements in workplace health and safety over the past four decades, 150 people are killed on the job or die from job-related illnesses and diseases every day in the U.S, reports the 2014 edition of the AFL-CIO’s annual Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect.


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Injured workers and narcotic use: some surprising findings

In terms of climate, geography, accents and politics, New York and Louisiana are very dissimilar, but they do have this in common: the amount of narcotics used by an average injured worker in each state is about double the amount of other states.


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Turkish mine accident kills hundreds

Turkish officials have revised the death toll from Tuesday's mine disaster upward, to an estimated 300 people, with 18 miners are still trapped beneath the surface.


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Hazardous highway work zone season now in full swing

Better weather means an increase in highway construction projects across the U.S., with a corresponding increase in danger for those working on those projects. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) says that highway improvement projects being performed on roadways that are open to traffic are expanding as the nation’s highway infrastructure ages and agencies focus on rebuilding existing roadways instead of building new ones.


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ESFI and NFPA to host live national Electrical Safety Month Twitter chat today

Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is getting social today with their first ever National Electrical Safety Month Twitter chat, which ESFI is cohosting with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).


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ASSE offers revised edition of “Construction Safety and Management Engineering” Book

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), the world’s oldest professional safety organization, released the second edition of its popular “Construction Safety Management and Engineering” book with updated standards and technical issues in construction.


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Serious injury alerts OSHA to serious workplace hazards

American Plant Food Corp. in Texas f acing $181,000 in fines

An Austin, Texas fertilizer company that was inspected after a worker's leg was entangled in an auger was cited for 12 violations, including failing to ensure adequate safeguards were in place to prevent workers from coming into contact with the auger during servicing and maintenance.


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Oil industry, government join forces on offshore safety

The Center for Offshore Safety hosted leaders from industry, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and the U.S. Coast Guard last week for an in-depth discussion of efforts to enhance the safety of offshore oil and natural gas development.

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Still at it: Company continues to expose workers to amputations after 2013 tragedy

A follow-up inspection by OSHA at San Cast Inc. found workers still exposed to amputation and fall hazards at the Coshocton, Ohio, casting and foundry facility – despite previous citations stemming from a leg amputation suffered by a worker in June of 2013. OSHA has issued 17 additional violations, carrying proposed penalties of $155,900 as a result of the November 2013 inspection.


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NIOSH Science Blog

How well do you think you are protected?

Understanding proper use and disposal of protective gowns for healthcare workers

By Selcen Kilinc-Balci PhD, MBA

The prevalence of infectious diseases, such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV, SARS and avian flu, have raised the concern of hospital personnel over the possibility of acquiring such infections. Healthcare workers (HCWs) in or outside hospitals who have contact with patients, body fluids, or specimens may easily acquire infections from or transmit infections to patients, other personnel, or loved ones.


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Miner reportedly killed at oft-cited West Virginia mine

A roof collapse at a West Virginia coal mine last night has claimed the life of one miner, according to news sources. Families of miners who work in Boone County’s Mine #1 hurried to the site. One of the two men who were trapped underground in the incident, Eric Legg, reportedly did not survive.


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Occupational hazard in space: headaches

CO2 may cause headaches on International Space Station, study suggests

Headaches in astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) are attributed to elevated levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), reports a study in the May Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).


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Conn. contractor removes flooring, exposes workers to wall collapse, fall hazards

A Stamford, Connecticut-based contractor faces $196,000 in fines for 14 violations following an OSHA inspection that uncovered multiple hazards stemming from the company’s failure to brace the building's walls and adhere to basic, legally required safeguards.


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Spike in mine fatalities spurs action by MSHA

A recent increase in mining deaths prompted the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to convene a meeting of mine industry stakeholders last week at agency headquarters in Arlington, Va. Assistant Secretary Joseph Main and his staff discussed in detail the 19 metal and nonmetal mining fatalities that have occurred since October 2013.


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What’s up next in EHS

Abstracts at AIHce 2014 will cover emerging trends in worker health and safety

Eleven abstracts to be presented at the 2014 American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition (AIHce) will reveal some exciting new strategies to protect worker health.  These approaches range from advancing the safety culture in academic laboratories to minimizing the risks to workers in healthcare settings.


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EPA to take comments on fracking chemicals transparency

One of the major controversies involving hydraulic fracturing – or, “fracking” – will be the subject of an EPA inquiry that could lead to new regulations on the industry.


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