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Today's News

ISHN delivers breaking news, just-released reports and other current EHS developments to help professionals stay informed.

Workers’ compensation costs may not reflect the true cost of work-related illness and injury, according to two new studies that crunched the numbers on how work-related injuries affect companies’ health care costs – even when workers comp is available.
Posted: February 23, 2018, 3:00 pm
A worker who was fired after notifying OSHA about safety hazards will get back wages and a clean record, under a settlement reached between the agency and Environmental Management Specialists Inc. (EMS) of Steubenville, Ohio.
Posted: February 22, 2018, 7:00 pm
NIOSH researchers, in partnership with staff from a network of federally funded black lung clinics in Virginia, have reported the largest cluster of severe black lung disease ever described in the scientific literature, according to new research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
Posted: February 22, 2018, 5:00 pm
The NIOSH Mining Program aims to eliminate mining fatalities, injuries, and illnesses through relevant research and impactful solutions. More than 65 engineers work in the NIOSH Mining Program representing many disciplines including chemical, electrical, mechanical, industrial, mining, software, and general engineering.
Posted: February 22, 2018, 3:00 pm
Up to 31 percent of the workers in the Health Care and Social Assistance (HAS) sector have experienced hearing loss, according to a new study from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
Posted: February 21, 2018, 7:00 pm
The CDC is warning people to avoid taking the popular yet controversial herb kratom. Already in the FDA’s crosshairs for its opioid properties, kratom has now been identified as the culprit behind a salmonella outbreak that has sickened more than two dozen people in 20 states. Eleven of those were affected to an extent that required hospitalization.
Posted: February 21, 2018, 5:00 pm
A bizarre early morning accident in San Diego last week left two construction workers with serious injuries and a motorist on the lam. The incident in the Bay Ho neighborhood of the city began at 12:30 a.m., when a motorist struck and dragged a hose near a construction site.
Posted: February 21, 2018, 3:00 pm
The deadline by which underground coal mine operators must equip continuous mining machines with proximity detection systems is fast approaching. The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has issued an alert to remind the mining industry that the deadline for installing the life-saving technology is March 16, 2018.
Posted: February 21, 2018, 5:00 am
In recent years, Polaris Industries, the leading producer of off-road vehicles, has recalled hundreds of thousands of its trail machines due to a fire danger. The hazard is linked to at least three deaths and three dozen injuries ranging from minor scrapes to limbs burned so badly amputation was required.
Posted: February 20, 2018, 7:00 pm
A rise in active shooter incidents and the escalating impact of hostile events has prompted the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to process NFPA 3000, Standard for Preparedness and Response to Active Shooter and/or Hostile Events as a provisional standard, which means it would be available for use as early as April, 2018.
Posted: February 20, 2018, 5:00 pm
A company with a troubled track record on safety experienced a workplace fatality last week, when an employee died in an apparent electrocution. The Feb. 15 early morning incident at Carbide Industries in Louisville, Kentucky claimed the life of 38-year-old Patrick Childers, according to news reports.
Posted: February 20, 2018, 3:00 pm
The EPA, cabinet members and a host of federal agencies – all part of the President’s Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children -- gathered last week to hear the EPA’s strategy for reducing childhood lead exposure and associated health risks.
Posted: February 19, 2018, 7:00 pm
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued three urgent safety recommendations last week, acting upon the agency’s findings in two ongoing railroad accident investigations. The Federal Railroad Administration received one urgent safety recommendation based on NTSB findings in the agency’s investigation of the Feb. 4, 2018, collision of an Amtrak train and a CSX train near Cayce, South Carolina.
Posted: February 19, 2018, 5:00 pm

At many companies, employees complain of hitting the glass ceiling as they try to advance their careers. At Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California, glass walls are the problem. Apple Park opened to employees in April, 2017 – while construction was still ongoing – but giving workers early access apparently didn’t help them acclimate themselves to their new surroundings.

Posted: February 19, 2018, 3:00 pm
Rotating Equipment Repair (RER) has had no recordable incidents of worker injuries in the last six years, but that wasn’t always the case. When the Sussex, Wisconsin-based company, that provides parts and services for high-energy pumps reached out in 2008 to OSHA's On-Site Consultation Program for help improving its safety and health program, the company had experienced two recordable injuries that year.
Posted: February 18, 2018, 8:00 am
A military initiative is this year’s honoree in the prestigious Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Award™ which is presented annually by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), in partnership with the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA).
Posted: February 16, 2018, 3:00 pm
Earlier this week, President Trump submitted his Fiscal Year 2019 budget proposal. This is his second budget proposal, and like the first, although it left OSHA’s budget fairly flat, it once again proposes to slash or eliminate important safety and health programs and agencies.
Posted: February 16, 2018, 5:00 am
A New York State paper milling company has agreed to improve safety and health conditions at its Carthage facility and pay $175,000 in penalties, under a settlement reached with OSHA. Carthage Specialty Paperboard Inc. was cited for 62 safety and health violations in June 2017.
Posted: February 15, 2018, 5:00 am
A United Airlines flight made an emergency landing yesterday after the protective cowling on one of its engines detached from the plane and fell away. Terrified passengers on board Flight 1175 from San Francisco to Honolulu reported a loud bang when the incident occurred, followed by severe shaking.
Posted: February 14, 2018, 5:00 pm
Law enforcement officers (LEOS) are three times more likely to sustain a nonfatal injury than all other U.S. workers, according to a first-of-its-kind study that examines nonfatal injuries among the group on a national scale. Assaults and violent acts are the top cause of such injuries (36%), followed by bodily reactions & exertion from running or other repetitive motions (15%), and transportation incidents (14%).
Posted: February 14, 2018, 3:00 pm
A Minnesota energy company says it will contest the $21,000 in fines leveled against it by the state’s OSHA for an incident at the company’s Becker power plant that left three workers with severe burns over large portions of their bodies.
Posted: February 14, 2018, 5:00 am
A New York City construction worker who was permanently disabled on the job has settled a lawsuit for $1.5 million against a construction company and three real estate companies that owned the site. News sources report that 44-year-old James Morrow was partially blinded in one eye at a Manhattan construction site on Aug. 29, 2014.
Posted: February 13, 2018, 5:00 pm
The opioid epidemic that is causing devastation in many communities in the U.S. may be being worsened by financial payments made by pharmaceutical companies to advocacy organizations that help people cope with chronic pain, according to a new report released by Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. Fueling an Epidemic: Exposing the Financial Ties Between Opioid Manufacturers and Third Party Advocacy Groups exposes the cozy financial relationships between the pharmaceutical industry and groups that assist pain sufferers.
Posted: February 13, 2018, 3:00 pm
The percentage of crashes involving drowsiness is nearly eight times higher than federal estimates indicate, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The travel organization is touting the study as the most in-depth drowsy driving research ever conducted in the U.S. using footage of everyday drivers.
Posted: February 13, 2018, 5:00 am
The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) is one of the federal agencies slated for elimination under the 2019 budget proposal unveiled by President Trump today. The CSB is an independent agency whose mission is to investigate industrial chemical accidents, determine their causes and make recommendations to plants, regulatory agencies such as OSHA and the EPA, industry organizations, and labor groups about ways to reduce the risk of similar accidents in the future.
Posted: February 12, 2018, 8:00 pm
Many companies are missing the mark when it comes to educating their employees about what to do in the event of an emergency. That’s the conclusion of a recent survey by Rave Mobile Safety, which found both generational and industry differences in employee perceptions about safety. Fire preparedness got high marks, with some 87 percent of respondents indicating an awareness of their workplace's fire drill policy and participation in fire drills practiced at work.
Posted: February 12, 2018, 5:00 pm
The collapse of an unapproved retaining wall in Poughkeepsie, New York killed one worker and injured another – and resulted in more than a quarter of a million dollars in fines for a construction company. In the wake of the August 2017 incident, OSHA cited Onekey LLC, for exposing employees to crushing hazards, for failing to train employees to keep a safe distance from the wall and soil pile, and for failing to provide proper fall protection.
Posted: February 12, 2018, 3:00 pm
Congress’ bid to cut billions from public health funding is raising the ire of the American Public Health Association (APHA), which is accusing the House of robbing “Peter to pay Paul” in its latest spending proposal. The Prevention and Public Health Fund – which makes up 12 percent of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s budget -- would lose nearly $3 billion under the latest budget proposal by the House.
Posted: February 9, 2018, 5:00 pm
The Organization for Standardization (ISO) has announced the release date for the global occupational safety and health management standard it’s been working on for five years. ISO 45001, Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements, will be available starting March 12, 2018. The global death toll from work-related accidents or diseases is 600 people die each day, or more than 2.78 million a year.
Posted: February 9, 2018, 3:00 pm
The EPA this week proposed a fees rule under the amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that it says will give the agency the resources it needs to review chemicals for safety. Under the Frank Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, the proposed fees on certain chemical manufacturers, including importers and processors, would provide what the agency calls “a sustainable source of funding” for implementing the amended law.
Posted: February 9, 2018, 5:00 am

Compliance

Learn about OSHA, EPA, MSHA, NFPA, and ISO standards / enforcement, other U.S. regulators and state / local regulators.

A worker who was fired after notifying OSHA about safety hazards will get back wages and a clean record, under a settlement reached between the agency and Environmental Management Specialists Inc. (EMS) of Steubenville, Ohio.
Posted: February 22, 2018, 7:00 pm
The collapse of an unapproved retaining wall in Poughkeepsie, New York killed one worker and injured another – and resulted in more than a quarter of a million dollars in fines for a construction company. In the wake of the August 2017 incident, OSHA cited Onekey LLC, for exposing employees to crushing hazards, for failing to train employees to keep a safe distance from the wall and soil pile, and for failing to provide proper fall protection.
Posted: February 12, 2018, 3:00 pm
Two complaints about workplace violence at a Colorado nursing home led OSHA investigators to uncover many more incidents – not all of them reported. The investigation at the Pioneer Health Care Center in Rocky Ford was opened in August 2017, based on two complaints. OSHA subsequently identified five documented incidents of workplace violence in 2017 that resulted in employee injuries, along with several unreported incidents.
Posted: February 8, 2018, 5:00 am
After an employee was injured while conducting maintenance on equipment, OSHA inspectors found machine safety violations at Supplyside USA, a New Lenox, Illinois-based pallet manufacturer. The company faces $91,832 in proposed penalties for two repeated, six serious, and three other-than-serious violations.
Posted: February 2, 2018, 3:00 pm
OSHA investigators have determined that Spirit Aerosystems Inc. exposed employees to airborne concentrations of hexavalent chromium nearly double the permissible exposure limit. Hexavalent chromium is a known carcinogen. The Kansas-based aircraft manufacturer faces proposed penalties totaling $194,006 for one willful and five serious violations.
Posted: February 1, 2018, 7:36 pm

OSHA intends to issue a separate proposal to reconsider, revise, or remove other provisions of the prior final rule and to seek comment on those provisions in that separate proposal. A notice of proposed rulemaking to reconsider, revise, or remove portions of the rule is expected in 2018.

Posted: January 31, 2018, 5:00 am
Last October, Melissa Stephens went to work on third shift at Autonium in Jeffersonville, Indiana. She never came home to her husband of 20 years or her four children. Stephens had apparently gone through the interlocked gate, to put a fiber pad over a broken seal. But a spinning belt and pully dragged her into a machine where she was crushed to death.
Posted: January 30, 2018, 5:00 am
The Trump administration’s refusal to fulfill a provision of OSHA’s injury and illness tracking rule has resulted in a lawsuit by Public Citizen. The advocacy group filed the suit Friday in federal court against OSHA and the U.S. Department of Labor, claiming that an exemption the agency cited in its denial of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request does not apply.
Posted: January 29, 2018, 3:00 pm
A Georgia poultry processor exposed its employees to amputation, fall and noise hazards, according to OSHA, which has cited Gainesville-based Koch Foods for multiple safety and health violations at its poultry processing plant. The company faces proposed penalties of $208,977.
Posted: January 29, 2018, 5:00 am

A series of catastrophic chemical incidents in the 1980s led to OSHA issuing its Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals standard in 1992. The PSM standard establishes a comprehensive management program that integrates technologies, procedures, and management practices.

Posted: January 29, 2018, 5:00 am
OSHA has cited Supplyside USA of Lenox, Illinois for machine safety violations after an employee was injured while conducting maintenance on equipment. The pallet manufacturer faces $91,832 in proposed penalties for two repeated, six serious, and three other-than-serious violations.
Posted: January 25, 2018, 3:00 pm

Slip resistance testing is a complex process, and an effective slip test machine needs to control and measure a number of key criteria reproducing the critical factors relating to slip when walking. ASTM F2913-11 provides a quantitative assessment of the safety of footwear for the U.S. market.

Posted: January 25, 2018, 5:00 am

As industrial robots continue to become more advanced, more capable and more popular, the need for comprehensive robot safety standards increases. Robots can be dangerous to operate – especially when safety protocols aren’t followed.

Posted: January 23, 2018, 5:00 am
Serious injuries to two employees brought OSHA inspectors to a vinyl floor manufacturing facility in Fostoria, Ohio, where they found multiple safety violations. Nox US LLC, an Ohio manufacturer of luxury vinyl tile, now faces $514,236 in proposed penalties and has been placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program. Both injuries occurred in June 2017.
Posted: January 18, 2018, 7:00 pm
On Jan. 2, civil penalty amounts for violations of workplace safety and health standards increased by two percent from last year. In accordance with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, the Department of Labor is required to adjust penalties for inflation each year.
Posted: January 18, 2018, 5:00 pm
One sign that anti-OSHA conservatives are getting nervous about articles (and television appearances) highlighting the declining number of OSHA inspectors are articles questioning whether government plays a useful role in protecting workers. In this case, the Reason Foundation, which “advances a free society by developing, applying, and promoting libertarian principles, including individual liberty, free markets, and the rule of law,” has concluded that reducing the number of OSHA inspectors has no effect on workplace safety.
Posted: January 18, 2018, 5:00 am

The final rule, 29 CFR Part 1926, Subpart M, which became effective on February 6, 1995, contains general fall protection requirements for construction work.

Posted: January 18, 2018, 5:00 am
Nothing sharpens the mind like the prospect of spending time in jail. Those of you who know me know that there’s little that makes me more angry than seeing a worker killed in a trench collapse. Every construction company owner knows how to prevent trench collapses — or they should know, or shouldn’t be in business.
Posted: January 15, 2018, 7:00 pm

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board has long asserted that chemical dust explosions are a "serious industrial safety problem." CSB research reveals that nearly 200 dust fires and explosions have occurred in U.S. industrial facilities over the past 25 years, resulting in approximately 100 fatalities and 600 injuries.

Posted: January 15, 2018, 5:00 am
The fifth time was not a charm for a Holland, Ohio roofing company that was cited recently by OSHA for exposing employees to falls and other safety hazards. The contractor, Casey Bortles, has been cited for similar violations four times since 2014. The most recent round of citations comes with a penalty total of $91,629.
Posted: January 12, 2018, 5:00 am

NFPA 70E responds to the latest information about the effects of arc flash, arc blast, and direct current (dc) hazards, and recent developments in electrical design and PPE. It provides vital information that helps you comply with OSHA 1910 Subpart S and OSHA 1926 Subpart K.

Posted: January 12, 2018, 5:00 am
A New Jersey company faces $199,996 in proposed penalties for safety and health violations, after failing to abate similar hazards it was cited for two years ago.
Posted: January 11, 2018, 7:00 pm

OSHA's standard for first aid training in general industry (29 CFR 1910.151(b)) and construction (29 CFR 1926.50(c)) require that an employer must ensure prompt first aid treatment for injured employees.

Posted: January 11, 2018, 4:15 pm
OSHA has issued serious confined space citations to a construction company in Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands, after three of its employees died from exposure to hydrogen sulfide gas. The tragedy occurred on July 7, 2017, as USA Fanter employees were working in and around a well that was not identified as a permit-required confined space.
Posted: January 11, 2018, 5:00 am
OSHA has cited Tampa Electric Co. and Gaffin Industrial Services Inc. after five employees were fatally injured, and one other suffered serious burns. In June 2017, OSHA investigated the Big Bend River Station electrical power plant in Apollo Beach following the fatalities. Inspectors determined that the employees were burned when a blockage inside a coal-fired furnace broke free and spewed molten slag into the work area.
Posted: January 10, 2018, 5:00 pm

On January 6, 2016, OSHA announced that it would not issue citations under the standard to residential construction if the employer is making good faith efforts to comply with the training requirements of the standard.

Posted: January 9, 2018, 5:00 am
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has dismissed industry challenges to OSHA’s new silica dust exposure standard, ruling that the agency’s decision to lower permissible worker exposure from 250 micrograms to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air over an average of eight hours was reasonable.
Posted: January 8, 2018, 7:00 pm
An OSHA investigation opened after a construction fatality has resulted in $212,396 in proposed penalties against the worker’s employer. The incident that prompted the inquiry occurred when a 2,600-pound rock dislodged from the building’s foundation and fatally struck a worker who was helping install permanent foundation supports beneath the Woburn Public Library in Woburn, Massachusetts.
Posted: January 8, 2018, 5:00 am
In a May, 2016 letter of interpretation, OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs answered this question: Question: If an employee with a neatly trimmed goatee is wearing a respirator and it does not interfere with the seal of the face piece or valve function, and has passed a fit test, does this meet the intent of the OSHA’s Respiratory Protection standard?
Posted: January 3, 2018, 5:00 am

OSHA standards clearly define mandatory compliance and requirements for employers to follow with respect to eye and face protection. Following these requirements ensures protection against chemical, environmental, and radiological hazards or mechanical irritants.

Posted: January 1, 2018, 5:00 am

Safety in the Construction Industry

Safety in the Construction Industry covers fall protection, PPE, regulations and best practices.

A bizarre early morning accident in San Diego last week left two construction workers with serious injuries and a motorist on the lam. The incident in the Bay Ho neighborhood of the city began at 12:30 a.m., when a motorist struck and dragged a hose near a construction site.
Posted: February 21, 2018, 3:00 pm
A team of surgeons were flown to the site of a construction accident in North Texas earlier this month, in order to amputate the leg of a worker who’d gotten caught in a trenching machine.
Posted: February 15, 2018, 5:00 pm
A New York City construction worker who was permanently disabled on the job has settled a lawsuit for $1.5 million against a construction company and three real estate companies that owned the site. News sources report that 44-year-old James Morrow was partially blinded in one eye at a Manhattan construction site on Aug. 29, 2014.
Posted: February 13, 2018, 5:00 pm
The collapse of an unapproved retaining wall in Poughkeepsie, New York killed one worker and injured another – and resulted in more than a quarter of a million dollars in fines for a construction company. In the wake of the August 2017 incident, OSHA cited Onekey LLC, for exposing employees to crushing hazards, for failing to train employees to keep a safe distance from the wall and soil pile, and for failing to provide proper fall protection.
Posted: February 12, 2018, 3:00 pm
Caught-in or between injuries killed more construction workers than those in any other industry between 2011 and 2015, according to a new CPWR Quarterly Data Report from the Center for Construction Research & Training. The injury category includes workers killed when trenches, walls, equipment, or materials collapse, as well as people pinched/compressed between objects and equipment or caught in moving machinery.
Posted: February 8, 2018, 3:00 pm

Last Tuesday was a bad day in New York City’s construction industry. According to news sources, two workers at fell to their deaths at two different construction projects in the city. 33-year-old Ju Cong Wu fell nine stories down an elevator shaft at a hotel development in the Flatiron District.

Posted: January 29, 2018, 3:00 pm
Mayor Bill de Blasio this week signed legislation into law, authored by Council Member Ben Kallos in collaboration with DEP, aimed at reducing overnight and weekend construction noise and making New York City more livable. Intro. 1653-B allows inspectors to take noise readings from the roadway or sidewalk, rather than requiring that the reading be taken from inside of a complainant’s apartment, empowers inspectors to shut down equipment that is too loud, and calls for new rules for responding when the noise is most likely to happen again.
Posted: January 19, 2018, 7:00 pm
OSHA has commented on safety and the use of personal headphones on construction sites. OSHA discourages their use in the workplace because they prevent the wearer from receiving auditory cues about the surrounding environment and because they are ineffective at preventing noise-related damage to the ears, according to an article in the Houston Chronicle. In the OSHA pocket booklet "Protecting Yourself from Noise in Construction," the agency comments directly on the use of the headphones.
Posted: January 16, 2018, 5:00 am
Nothing sharpens the mind like the prospect of spending time in jail. Those of you who know me know that there’s little that makes me more angry than seeing a worker killed in a trench collapse. Every construction company owner knows how to prevent trench collapses — or they should know, or shouldn’t be in business.
Posted: January 15, 2018, 7:00 pm
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (NIOSH FACE) program investigates selected work-related fatalities, collecting information not captured in other data sources - including safety management and training programs, use of engineering controls and personal protective equipment on the jobsite, and recommendations for preventing similar incidents.
Posted: January 10, 2018, 7:00 pm
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has dismissed industry challenges to OSHA’s new silica dust exposure standard, ruling that the agency’s decision to lower permissible worker exposure from 250 micrograms to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air over an average of eight hours was reasonable.
Posted: January 8, 2018, 7:00 pm
An OSHA investigation opened after a construction fatality has resulted in $212,396 in proposed penalties against the worker’s employer. The incident that prompted the inquiry occurred when a 2,600-pound rock dislodged from the building’s foundation and fatally struck a worker who was helping install permanent foundation supports beneath the Woburn Public Library in Woburn, Massachusetts.
Posted: January 8, 2018, 5:00 am
A rating system helped predict which solutions construction workers would use to prevent musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), according to a study at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri that was funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The study appeared in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.
Posted: January 5, 2018, 5:00 am
An Oakland, California structure collapse that sent 13 workers to the hospital will cost three contractors $147,315 in penalties, according to Cal/OSHA. The incident occurred on May 26, 2017 and involved a temporary mold (formwork) and vertical shoring. Workers at the 435-unit mixed-use project construction site were pouring concrete into elevated formwork when the shoring system supporting the formwork collapsed.
Posted: December 26, 2017, 5:00 am
Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta testified last Thursday at a hearing before the full House Education and Workforce Committee, and although I take great pleasure in (deservedly) criticizing Trump administration appointees, he wasn’t terrible — as Trump appointees go. Now let me qualify a bit. I’m focusing only on workplace safety issues, not on any wage and hour, apprenticeship or other labor issues that were addressed during the hearing. Second, his performance varied from fairly decent (regarding enforcement issues) to pretty bad (regarding standard setting and staffing.) 
Posted: November 20, 2017, 8:00 pm
Engineers, consultants, company owners, concrete producers and contractors can learn about effective ways to manage cracks and mitigate shrinkage in a World of Concrete presentation entitled: Innovations in Concrete: Crack Reduction & 3D Printing of Construction Materials. Attendees will learn about the industrialization of the 3D printing process for construction materials and see case study project examples where shrinkage reducing / compensating admixtures were successfully utilized.
Posted: November 20, 2017, 5:00 am
The hour-and-a-half long seminars held during World of Concrete are crash courses, in business, the basics of concrete (for entry level personnel) and in topics like engineering, masonry, residential construction, safety and risk management and technical updates.
Posted: November 20, 2017, 5:00 am
An elevator ride down 530 feet through a rock wall and a guided tour of a tunnel drilled in the 1930s will be among the activities offering during World of Concrete – those two as part of the Hoover Dam & Bypass Bridge Tour. Rick Yelton, World of Concrete’s Editor at Large will conduct the visit to two of the world’s most famous concrete structures, and share information on how these concrete structures, built more than 50 years apart, played an important part in the development of new standards in concrete construction.
Posted: November 20, 2017, 5:00 am

Among the exhibitions in the World of World of Concrete New Product Zone will be some that are a bit larger than what you normally see at trade shows. In the Material Handling area in the Central Hall, for instance, attendees will get a close look at trucks and excavators used for material delivery, distribution, concrete placement, and earth moving. More large equipment used in surface preparation, scarifying, grinding, sawing and demolition will be found in the Concrete Repair & Demolition that will be housed in the South Hall.

Posted: November 20, 2017, 5:00 am
Concrete professionals, builders, architects and others will see how decorative concrete can be used in retail space in an enormous exhibit at World of Concrete called Decorative Concrete LIVE! Consisting of four individual buildings encompassing a plaza complete with a made-on-site concrete fountain, the display measures 78 feet long by 55 feet wide – nearly 4,300-square-foot retail space.
Posted: November 20, 2017, 5:00 am
Mixing concrete in order to understand how materials and their proportions influence the properties of concrete is an example of the hands-on training that will be offered at WOW, held Jan. 23-26 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Posted: November 20, 2017, 5:00 am
OSHA) last week issued a final rule setting November 10, 2018, as the date for employers in the construction industries to comply with a requirement for crane operator certification. The final rule becomes effective November 9, 2017.
Posted: November 14, 2017, 5:00 pm

Fall prevention and protection is a primary focus of construction industry safety programs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the number one cause of construction-worker fatalities, accounting for one-third of on-the-job injury deaths in the industry.

Posted: November 8, 2017, 5:00 am
A 22-year-old worker died last week in Streamwood, Illinois after becoming trapped in a manhole. Authorities say Brett Morrow was part of a construction crew working to clean out and install lining in a sanitary sewer system. He was about 30 feet into a two foot-wide pipe when he became trapped. According to news sources, firefighters crawled down through the pipe, but had trouble reaching Morrow because of a large quantity of hardened lining material that was blocking the pipe.
Posted: November 1, 2017, 2:00 pm
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) often called drones are increasingly used for military, recreational, public, and commercial purposes. UAVs have the potential to prevent injury and death in the construction industry where nearly 1,000 workers died in 2015. Advancements in UAV technology could help reduce construction-related injury and death from falls, toxic chemical exposures, electrical hazards, or traumatic injury from vehicle and equipment collisions.
Posted: October 26, 2017, 4:00 am
Workers at a Birmingham, Alabama framing company were wearing fall protection harnesses when OSHA inspectors visited the sight, but the harnesses were not tied off to prevent a fall. Structural Subcontractors Service, LLC was cited for exposing workers to fall hazards and faces proposed penalties totaling $102,669.
Posted: October 24, 2017, 4:00 am

Six construction workers were injured last week – four seriously – at a Brooklyn, New York worksite. According to news sources, the injuries occurred when a two-story brick building that was under construction collapsed after a load of cinder blocks was placed on its roof.

Posted: October 23, 2017, 4:00 pm
A South Jersey construction company owner with a long history of workplace safety violations was cited by OSHA for exposing workers to serious scaffold hazards at a job site in Philadelphia. The owner, Vyacheslav Leshko faces $191,215 in proposed penalties. OSHA inspectors responded to a complaint of unsafe working conditions at DH Construction LLC., and discovered employees performing masonry and bricklaying while working on a scaffold that was dangerously close to power lines.
Posted: October 23, 2017, 4:00 am
Start planning now. The 2018 National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls will be held May 7-11. The Safety Stand-Down is a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety. Employers are encouraged to take a break during the event and focus on fall hazards and and fall prevention.
Posted: October 20, 2017, 2:00 pm
Improving the safety performance of both employees and contractors was identified as a top priority for driving organization's contractor management goals, according to a recent Contractor Management Survey by ISN, a global leader in contractor and supplier information management.
Posted: October 20, 2017, 4:00 am

Facility Safety

This topic deals with machine guarding, housekeeping,forklift safety,showers & eyewashes,LOTO, flooring, fire safety, security, and emergency response.

Two organizations dedicated to fire prevention have chosen a day on which a technology that can do just that will be the focus. The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) have designated May 19, 2018 as Home Fire Sprinkler Day. Home fires claim the lives of seven people each day.
Posted: February 23, 2018, 5:00 am
Signage is often posted to make everyone aware of a hazard, but when signage is overwhelming, unclear, vague, improperly placed or poorly maintained it’s true purpose can become minimized or defeated.
Posted: February 22, 2018, 5:00 am
A rise in active shooter incidents and the escalating impact of hostile events has prompted the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to process NFPA 3000, Standard for Preparedness and Response to Active Shooter and/or Hostile Events as a provisional standard, which means it would be available for use as early as April, 2018.
Posted: February 20, 2018, 5:00 pm

At many companies, employees complain of hitting the glass ceiling as they try to advance their careers. At Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California, glass walls are the problem. Apple Park opened to employees in April, 2017 – while construction was still ongoing – but giving workers early access apparently didn’t help them acclimate themselves to their new surroundings.

Posted: February 19, 2018, 3:00 pm
Rotating Equipment Repair (RER) has had no recordable incidents of worker injuries in the last six years, but that wasn’t always the case. When the Sussex, Wisconsin-based company, that provides parts and services for high-energy pumps reached out in 2008 to OSHA's On-Site Consultation Program for help improving its safety and health program, the company had experienced two recordable injuries that year.
Posted: February 18, 2018, 8:00 am
A New York State paper milling company has agreed to improve safety and health conditions at its Carthage facility and pay $175,000 in penalties, under a settlement reached with OSHA. Carthage Specialty Paperboard Inc. was cited for 62 safety and health violations in June 2017.
Posted: February 15, 2018, 5:00 am
Although Crock-Pot objected to one of its products being used as the cause of a fatal, if fictional, home fire, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says the episode of the NBC TV show “This is Us” depicting the blaze provides valuable lessons. In the highly-rated drama, a defective slow cooker sparks a fire in the kitchen of a home that quickly spreads to curtains and then to the rest of the house. The family members are trapped in second floor bedrooms.
Posted: February 13, 2018, 7:00 pm
The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) is one of the federal agencies slated for elimination under the 2019 budget proposal unveiled by President Trump today. The CSB is an independent agency whose mission is to investigate industrial chemical accidents, determine their causes and make recommendations to plants, regulatory agencies such as OSHA and the EPA, industry organizations, and labor groups about ways to reduce the risk of similar accidents in the future.
Posted: February 12, 2018, 8:00 pm
Many companies are missing the mark when it comes to educating their employees about what to do in the event of an emergency. That’s the conclusion of a recent survey by Rave Mobile Safety, which found both generational and industry differences in employee perceptions about safety. Fire preparedness got high marks, with some 87 percent of respondents indicating an awareness of their workplace's fire drill policy and participation in fire drills practiced at work.
Posted: February 12, 2018, 5:00 pm

The National Ocean Service reports that contaminants enter the environment from a variety of sources2, in addition to the spills that you see on the news. Even perfectly functioning equipment has a tendency to leak oil.

Posted: February 12, 2018, 5:00 am
After an employee was injured while conducting maintenance on equipment, OSHA inspectors found machine safety violations at Supplyside USA, a New Lenox, Illinois-based pallet manufacturer. The company faces $91,832 in proposed penalties for two repeated, six serious, and three other-than-serious violations.
Posted: February 2, 2018, 3:00 pm
Last October, Melissa Stephens went to work on third shift at Autonium in Jeffersonville, Indiana. She never came home to her husband of 20 years or her four children. Stephens had apparently gone through the interlocked gate, to put a fiber pad over a broken seal. But a spinning belt and pully dragged her into a machine where she was crushed to death.
Posted: January 30, 2018, 5:00 am
Sales of most corded window blinds and shades – products blamed for the strangulation deaths of more than 300 U.S. infants and toddlers since 1981 — will come to an end late this year. The decision last week by the window covering industry to quit selling the items in the U.S. and Canada is a milestone following decades of stopgap safety measures and public clamor to do more to protect children.
Posted: January 24, 2018, 5:00 pm
Keeping sufficiently warm during the winter months can prove challenging, particularly when frigid temperatures persist, as they have recently for much of the country. While portable space heaters can help generate heat, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is reminding the public that they do present potential fire hazards and must be used with caution.
Posted: January 16, 2018, 3:00 pm

According to OSHA, combustible material can burn rapidly when in a finely divided form. If such a dust is suspended in air in the right concentration, under certain conditions, it can become explosive. Even materials that do not burn in larger pieces can explode in dust form.

Posted: December 26, 2017, 3:46 pm
OSHA and Bartlett Grain Company LP have signed a comprehensive settlement requiring the company to implement safeguards, training, and audit procedures at its 20 grain handling facilities in six states. The agreement resolves contested citations issued by OSHA in April 2012 after six individuals were killed and two injured as a result of an Oct. 29, 2011, explosion at the Atchison grain elevator.
Posted: December 22, 2017, 5:00 pm
It’s ideal to stay ready for the unexpected, especially when it comes to ornery winter weather. You will feel much more at ease if you transform those anxious feelings of anticipation into proactive preparation. A survey of small business owners conducted by Travelers Insurance discovered that 44 percent of small businesses in the U.S. don’t have a written business continuity plan or any related document to explain how their business will operate in the event of serious weather emergencies.
Posted: December 21, 2017, 5:00 am
The cold weather season is upon us, which means that outdoor job sites will face a new set of challenges. Emergency eyewashes and showers must continue to function no matter how low the temperature may drop. The ANSI/ISEA Z358.1 standard requires this equipment be protected from freezing temperatures when the threat of freezing is present.
Posted: December 19, 2017, 5:00 am

Workers who perform hot work can quickly become complacent. They don’t realize that simply “pencil whipping” the permit without making the area safe for hot work can place them and their coworkers at risk.

Posted: December 15, 2017, 5:00 am
Major or “large-loss” fires in the U.S. in 2016 cost $1.2 billion in property losses and resulted in 14 deaths and dozens of injuries, according to the latest edition of the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) “Large-loss Fires in the United States” report. Large-loss fires are defined as events that result in property damage of at least $10 million.
Posted: December 15, 2017, 5:00 am
OSHA has cited Carl Cannon Inc., an automobile dealership, for serious safety violations after three employees died and two were injured at its Jasper facility. OSHA initiated an investigation in response to a flash fire. Inspectors determined that the employees were using a flammable brake wash to scrub the service pit floor when the fire occurred. As a result, three employees were fatally injured, and a fourth was critically burned. A fifth employee was treated for smoke inhalation and released.
Posted: December 14, 2017, 7:00 pm
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has unveiled its annual Winter Alert campaign, reminding miners and mine operators of the increased hazards that colder weather creates at both surface and underground coal mines. The Winter Alert campaign, which runs each year through March, emphasizes increased vigilance and adherence to safety principles during the winter months, when cold temperatures increase hazards for miners.
Posted: December 13, 2017, 5:00 am

There are more than 100 different ways to weld metals together. With so many different ways to weld, types of metals, and filler materials comes many hazards such as flying particles, harmful dust, smoke, fumes, heat and light radiation.

Posted: December 13, 2017, 5:00 am

Metalworking facilities and welding shops must be diligent in controlling dust and fumes containing harmful metal particulate. Fortunately, there are proven controls to maintain a healthy work environment.

Posted: December 11, 2017, 5:00 am

In addition to long-term damage, OSHA warns that excessive noise can cause physical and psychological stress, reduce productivity, interfere with communication and concentration, and contribute to workplace accidents and injuries.

Posted: December 5, 2017, 5:00 am

Unfortunately, as with many OSHA requirements, they inform you “what” to do, but not “how” do it, and leave this part up to the employer. The challenge for many employers is the lack of knowledge or experience to effectively implement the OSHA lockout guidelines.

Posted: November 30, 2017, 5:00 am
One person was killed and approximately three dozen injured in an explosion and fire last week at a cosmetics factory in New York state. Seven of the injured were firefighters who were inside the facility, responding to a first blast, when a second explosion occurred.
Posted: November 28, 2017, 5:00 pm

OSHA is proposing nearly two million dollars in fines against a Wisconsin corn milling facility, after five employees were killed in 12 others injured in a grain dust explosion. Among those injured in the May 31, 2017 accident at Didion Milling, Inc.: a 21-year-old employee who suffered a double leg amputation after being crushed by a railcar. OSHA found that the explosion likely resulted from Didion’s failures to correct the leakage and accumulation of highly combustible grain dust throughout the facility and to properly maintain equipment to control ignition sources.

Posted: November 21, 2017, 7:00 pm
In the flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey in August, the water rose so rapidly at the Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Texas site that the first combustion occurred less than 72 hours after flooding commenced. The backup generators at Arkema were elevated 2 feet off the ground, but the flooding exceeded 3 feet in the vicinity of the generators. In short, says the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB), the facility was not prepared for such heavy rainfall and such a rapid flood rate. When the floodwaters knocked out power to the plant’s refrigerators, leaving the organic peroxides and volatile chemicals stores at the plant at risk of heating up, Arkema employees moved the peroxides to refrigerated trailers. But the waters kept rising, forcing the evacuation of the workers and ultimately flooding the trailers.
Posted: November 16, 2017, 7:00 pm
OSHA inspectors found numerous hazards at an auto auction facility, after an accident that claimed the lives of five people. The tragedy at Lynnway Auto Auction Inc. occurred on May 3, 2017, when five people died of their injuries after being struck by a sport utility vehicle. The agency issued 16 citations to the company for motor vehicle hazards, blocked exit routes, violations of the hazard communication standard, and recordkeeping deficiencies.
Posted: November 16, 2017, 5:00 am

Environmental and Occupational Health

Environmental and Occupational Health features news, studies and emerging developments relating to health.

NIOSH researchers, in partnership with staff from a network of federally funded black lung clinics in Virginia, have reported the largest cluster of severe black lung disease ever described in the scientific literature, according to new research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
Posted: February 22, 2018, 5:00 pm
The NIOSH Mining Program aims to eliminate mining fatalities, injuries, and illnesses through relevant research and impactful solutions. More than 65 engineers work in the NIOSH Mining Program representing many disciplines including chemical, electrical, mechanical, industrial, mining, software, and general engineering.
Posted: February 22, 2018, 3:00 pm
Up to 31 percent of the workers in the Health Care and Social Assistance (HAS) sector have experienced hearing loss, according to a new study from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
Posted: February 21, 2018, 7:00 pm
As a leading source for education among occupational safety and health professionals, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) has expanded its course offerings in online learning. The ASSE LearnEx program has two courses debuting in March that focus on risk assessment and the new global safety standard, ISO 45001.
Posted: February 20, 2018, 5:00 am
Black Lung is Back: After almost being eradicated in the late 1990, black lung is back, with a vengeance. Epidemiologists at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health say they’ve identified the largest cluster of advanced black lung disease ever reported, according to an NPR story. “When I first implemented this clinic back in 1990, you would see … five [to] seven … PMF cases” a year, says Ron Carson, who directs Stone Mountain’s black lung program.
Posted: February 20, 2018, 5:00 am
The EPA, cabinet members and a host of federal agencies – all part of the President’s Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children -- gathered last week to hear the EPA’s strategy for reducing childhood lead exposure and associated health risks.
Posted: February 19, 2018, 7:00 pm
Transportation safety was in the headlines this week, in stories about a decrease in traffic deaths, train crashes with an identical cause and a plane that lost a part in midair, terrifying its passengers. Those and other stories were featured on ISHN.com.
Posted: February 17, 2018, 5:00 am
A military initiative is this year’s honoree in the prestigious Safe-in-Sound Excellence in Hearing Loss Prevention Award™ which is presented annually by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), in partnership with the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA).
Posted: February 16, 2018, 3:00 pm

The following is a brief history and usage of personal noise dosimeters.

Posted: February 16, 2018, 5:00 am
Sleepy train engineers, robotic co-workers and distracted killers were among the top safety stories featured on ISHN.com this week.
Posted: February 10, 2018, 5:00 am
The Organization for Standardization (ISO) has announced the release date for the global occupational safety and health management standard it’s been working on for five years. ISO 45001, Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements, will be available starting March 12, 2018. The global death toll from work-related accidents or diseases is 600 people die each day, or more than 2.78 million a year.
Posted: February 9, 2018, 3:00 pm
The primary way to avoid hand and finger injuries is to ensure hands are kept out of the “danger zone” while a work task is performed. Evaluate each work task and ensure that it is being performed in the safest manner possible. Personal responsibilities to keep your hands out of the “danger zone” include:
Posted: February 9, 2018, 5:00 am
Selecting the right tool for the job is as critical to preventing injury as it is to getting the job done right. Educate employees on the proper tool selection and the risks in improvising (i.e. using a screwdriver as a chisel). Stress the importance of operating tools according to the manufacturers’ instructions. Walk employees through the correct use and storage of the device to prevent accidents that could easily be avoided.
Posted: February 9, 2018, 5:00 am
A pinch point is produced when two objects come together and there is a possibility that a person could be caught or injured when coming in contact with that area. Pinch points commonly impact fingers / hands, but can impact any area of the body. The injury resulting from a pinch point could be as minor as a blister or as severe as amputation or death.
Posted: February 9, 2018, 5:00 am
Your hands and wrists are a complex system of bones, muscles and tendons, ligaments, blood vessels and nerves protected by layers of skin. A total of 27 hand and wrist bones are connected to the muscles by tendons. Ligaments join bones together and hold the joints in place.
Posted: February 9, 2018, 5:00 am
Jasmine worked at a prison in central California that provided long-term housing and services for minimum, medium, and maximum custody inmates. She was 34 years old and had worked at the prison for six years. Jasmine was a correctional officer, and her job duties included security checks, patrolling the facility, and occasionally grid searches and digging for contraband in the soil.
Posted: February 8, 2018, 7:00 pm
In a startling new report released by the CDC, researchers identified 204–389 deaths among adults that occurred annually between 1999 and 2016 that could be attributable to occupational exposures -- and were therefore potentially preventable. The fatality figures cited represent an estimated 11-21 percent of all adult asthma deaths.
Posted: February 5, 2018, 3:00 pm
OSHA investigators have determined that Spirit Aerosystems Inc. exposed employees to airborne concentrations of hexavalent chromium nearly double the permissible exposure limit. Hexavalent chromium is a known carcinogen. The Kansas-based aircraft manufacturer faces proposed penalties totaling $194,006 for one willful and five serious violations.
Posted: February 1, 2018, 7:36 pm
ACGIH® announced today that its Board of Directors ratified the 2018 Threshold Limit Values (TLVs®) for Chemical Substances and Physical Agents and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs®). The Board also approved recommendations for additions to the Notice of Intended Changes (NIC).
Posted: January 31, 2018, 5:00 am
CHEMICAL SUBSTANCES TLVs® 2018 NOTICE OF INTENDED CHANGES (NIC) Introduction to the Chemical Substances – Threshold Limit Value-Surface Limit (TLV-SL) New notation – Ototoxicant (OTO) Antimony trioxide (withdrawn from Notice of Intended Changes) Cobalt and inorganic compounds, as Co Cumene Cyanazine Cyclopentadiene (withdraw adopted TLV® and Documentation; see Dicyclopentadiene, including Cyclopentadiene)
Posted: January 31, 2018, 5:00 am
A workplace tragedy in Oklahoma, states with the best traffic safety laws and what that extra weight does to your feet. These were among the top occupational safety and health stories featured on ISHN.com this week.
Posted: January 27, 2018, 5:00 am
Trumpworld to Government Scientists: No Science for You! This falls into “The Onion or Real News” category. Imagine my alarm when I read in The Intercept that “Republicans on the House Science Committee are accusing Linda Birnbaum, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, of lobbying.” Lobbying, as any political appointee or high level government official can tell you, is strictly verboten for government employees.
Posted: January 26, 2018, 3:00 pm
American Airlines is changing vendors for its employee uniforms, after employees sued over health problems they allege were caused by the garments. Thousands of flight attendants and crew members complained of symptoms ranging from caused hives, swollen faces, wheezing, vertigo, headaches and severe respiratory problems. A lawsuit filed against American Airlines and Twin Hill – the manufacturer of the uniforms – was filed in federal court last fall by the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), the union representing more than 25,000 AA flight attendants.
Posted: January 23, 2018, 5:00 am
It’s naturally occurring and it’s just about everywhere, so we are all exposed to it. People who are regularly exposed to high radon levels, though, are at increased risk of lung cancer – especially if they smoke. Because radon is odorless and colorless, the only way to determine if your home is safe is to conduct testing.
Posted: January 22, 2018, 7:00 pm
A foot injury is, according to the Comp Pinkbook, the eighth most common workers’ compensation injury in Maryland. (The Comp Pinkbook represented a study of over a quarter million comp claims that had some kind of permanency award from the period of 1/1/11 to 6/30/12. The book is for sale at Amazon.com.)
Posted: January 22, 2018, 5:00 am
One state considers a bill to help prevent workplace violence. OSHA fines for safety violations increase – by two percent. And the production company that produces the TV show “The Walking Dead” is cited and fined for the death of a stuntman. These were among the top stories featured on ISHN.com this week.
Posted: January 20, 2018, 5:00 am
Factory workers participating in a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) study had urinary BPA levels that far exceeded those found in the public. For years, manufacturers have used the industrial chemical BPA, or bisphenol A, to make polycarbonate plastic, epoxy resins, and other specialty materials. Although BPA’s effects on people remain unclear, health concerns about the chemical have arisen because it weakly mimics the hormone estrogen.
Posted: January 19, 2018, 5:00 am
The EPA’s proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan (CPP) will get three public hearings in the months ahead, as the agency continues its effort to dismantle President Obama’s initiative to reduce emissions from power plants in order to combat climate change.
Posted: January 17, 2018, 7:00 pm
OSHA has cited a Wyoming kayak company for training and clothing deficiencies, after one of its guides died of hypothermia when an attempt to rescue a client went awry. The incident occurred on June 14, 2017 and claimed the life of 23-year-old Timothy Hayden Ryan of Salt Lake City.
Posted: January 16, 2018, 5:00 pm
Have you ever wondered if your job involves more standing, bending, or lifting than other jobs? Or if there are ways you could avoid injuries from these movements while on the job? Last week, NIOSH published an article on frequent exertion and frequent standing among US workers by industry and occupation group.
Posted: January 16, 2018, 5:00 am

Government Regulations

Government Regulations provides the latest information about government regulations that address occupational safety and health issues as well as environment and public health issues.

The deadline by which underground coal mine operators must equip continuous mining machines with proximity detection systems is fast approaching. The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has issued an alert to remind the mining industry that the deadline for installing the life-saving technology is March 16, 2018.
Posted: February 21, 2018, 5:00 am
The EPA this week proposed a fees rule under the amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that it says will give the agency the resources it needs to review chemicals for safety. Under the Frank Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, the proposed fees on certain chemical manufacturers, including importers and processors, would provide what the agency calls “a sustainable source of funding” for implementing the amended law.
Posted: February 9, 2018, 5:00 am
President Trump frequently boasts about “eliminating more regulations in our first year than any administration in history.” This is supposedly a good thing for the American people, even thought most regulations are actually “protections,” protecting workers and consumers from health and safety hazards, exploitation, bad food — and being ripped off by their employers.
Posted: February 2, 2018, 5:00 pm
The Trump administration’s refusal to fulfill a provision of OSHA’s injury and illness tracking rule has resulted in a lawsuit by Public Citizen. The advocacy group filed the suit Friday in federal court against OSHA and the U.S. Department of Labor, claiming that an exemption the agency cited in its denial of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request does not apply.
Posted: January 29, 2018, 3:00 pm
A new federal regulation requiring commercial truck drivers to electronically log their hours is drawing both support and criticism from the trucking industry. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rule – which went into effect in December 2017, started requiring commercial drivers to outfit their trucks with electronic logging devices (ELDs) to replace the paper time cards the industry has used for decades.
Posted: January 26, 2018, 5:00 pm
It has been a year since Donald Trump took office. Despite promising to be a friend of workers, Trump has spent much of his first year making our workplaces less safe. AFL-CIO Director of Safety and Health Peg Seminario described Trump's actions:
Posted: January 22, 2018, 3:00 pm
Virginia is considering a bill aimed at getting out in front of workplace violence by allowing companies to communicate freely with police about potential perpetrators. Legislation introduced by Del. Chris Hurst, D-Blacksburg, would grant civil immunity to employers who share information about violent acts or threats made by current or former employees to potential employers or law enforcement.
Posted: January 19, 2018, 5:00 pm
The EPA’s proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan (CPP) will get three public hearings in the months ahead, as the agency continues its effort to dismantle President Obama’s initiative to reduce emissions from power plants in order to combat climate change.
Posted: January 17, 2018, 7:00 pm
When her black cat rapidly dropped from a healthy 14 pounds to a skeletal five pounds, it was natural for Arlene Blum to investigate whether a toxic chemical in her home might be to blame. The veterinarian’s diagnosis raised that possibility, and Blum had expertise in the harm that chemicals can cause.
Posted: January 9, 2018, 7:00 pm
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has dismissed industry challenges to OSHA’s new silica dust exposure standard, ruling that the agency’s decision to lower permissible worker exposure from 250 micrograms to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air over an average of eight hours was reasonable.
Posted: January 8, 2018, 7:00 pm
"First, EPA proposed to revoke the Clean Power Plan, and now they have signaled their intention to replace the Plan with far weaker standards. The Clean Power Plan would have prevented up to 90,000 childhood asthma attacks and 4,500 premature deaths every year once fully implemented. Instead of implementing these lifesaving standards, EPA is moving toward...
Posted: January 3, 2018, 5:00 am
With a new administration came a new approach to regulations, including those aimed at keeping workers safe and healthy. Occupational exposure issues like beryllium and silica were high profile. States and cities tackled refinery safety, healthcare workplace violence prevention and restaurant menu requirements. Here are the top regulation-related stories of 2017.
Posted: December 27, 2017, 5:00 am
Changes to school meals proposed this week by the Trump administration are getting praised by school nutritionists and slammed by health experts. Among other things, the interim final rule released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) allows schools to avoid reducing sodium levels in breakfasts and lunches – a mandate introduced by former President Barack Obama. Sodium reduction was to take place in stages through the year 2022.
Posted: November 30, 2017, 7:00 pm
Scott Mugno, President Trump’s choice to head the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, will go before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee next Tuesday at 10:00 am for his confirmation hearing. Mugno is Vice President for Safety, Sustainability and Vehicle Maintenance at FedEx Ground in Pittsburgh and was formerly Managing Director for FedEx Express Corporate Safety, Health and Fire Protection in Memphis. You can watch it LIVE here.
Posted: November 30, 2017, 5:00 pm
After multiple delays, OSHA has finally announced that employers who are required to keep OSHA injury and illness records must send summary information in to the agency by December 15, fifteen days after the deadline announced last June, when the agency proposed to delay the reporting deadline from July 1 to December 1.
Posted: November 28, 2017, 3:00 pm
At a private meeting in September, congressional aides asked Rebeckah Adcock, a top official at the Department of Agriculture, to reveal the identities of the people serving on the deregulation team she leads at the agency. Teams like Adcock’s, created under an executive order by President Trump, had been taking heat from Democratic lawmakers over their secrecy. What little was publicly known suggested that some of the groups’ members had deep ties to the industries being regulated.
Posted: November 15, 2017, 7:00 pm
OSHA) last week issued a final rule setting November 10, 2018, as the date for employers in the construction industries to comply with a requirement for crane operator certification. The final rule becomes effective November 9, 2017.
Posted: November 14, 2017, 5:00 pm
New California rules aimed at curbing the surprising amount of pollution coming from leaf blowers, lawn mowers and other small gas-powered machines cleared a final hurdle Monday, and are set to take effect on Jan. 1. The requirements mark another step in the state’s long-running battle to reduce emissions from a category of small engines that have come to rival cars as a source of smog-forming pollution.
Posted: November 14, 2017, 3:00 pm
Reviews continue to pour in about President Trumps long delayed nomination of Scott Mugno to be the next Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA. In addition to my original post, we have already checked in with Katie Tracy at the Center for Progressive Reform and on the business side, Eric Conn of the law firm Conn Maciel Carey. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, which will consider Mugno’s nomination, issued a rather cautious statement:
Posted: November 10, 2017, 7:00 pm
The Chemical Safety Board (CSB) may be preparing to take a significant step backwards in its advocacy for worker participation in preventing chemical facility incidents, including catastrophes like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In April, 2016 the CSB unanimously approved a 4-volume “Macondo Investigation Report” in response to the catastrophic Deepwater Horizon blowout that killed 11 workers, injured 17 and spilled 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The report contained a number of recommendations, including four recommendations calling for the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) to significantly enhance its regulations requiring worker participation in the employer’s safety program, and enhanced whistleblower protections for workers participating in safety activities.
Posted: November 10, 2017, 5:00 pm
In what the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is calling “a major victory for public health,” the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted 3-2 last week, to ban several harmful phthalate chemicals from plastic used in children’s toys and child care articles. Phthalates are commonly used as a plastic softener in children’s toys and child care articles, such as teething rings.
Posted: October 26, 2017, 2:00 pm
The poultry industry and Republican lawmakers are urging the Trump administration to make a change that could have profound implications for both worker safety and food safety.
Posted: October 17, 2017, 4:00 am
President Trump’s plan to end a key Affordable Care Act (ACA) subsidy will cause health care premiums to spike and insurers to exit the market according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which estimated that the action would cause the federal budget deficit to rise by $6 billion next year and by $26 billion by 2026.
Posted: October 13, 2017, 2:00 pm
The Massachusetts Senate moved a step closer yesterday to joining 26 other states in extending OSHA safety standards to public sector workers. Bill S.2167, which has yet to be voted on by the Massachusetts House, would ensure that all state and local government workers are protected by the OSHA standards, which apply only to private sector workers.
Posted: October 10, 2017, 4:00 am
EPA chief Scott Pruitt announced Monday that he will sign the paperwork to repeal the Clean Power Plan, an Obama administration rule to combat climate change rule by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from coal and natural gas power plants.
Posted: October 9, 2017, 6:00 pm
The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) says Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has missed the statutory deadline to report to the American people which U.S. counties exceed the national health standard for ground-level ozone, or smog.
Posted: October 6, 2017, 6:00 pm
If you were hoping to view the Statue of Liberty or Mount Rushmore by air – via your drone – you’re out of luck. At the request of U.S. national security and law enforcement agencies, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is prohibiting drones from flying within 400 feet of a number of national monuments.
Posted: October 2, 2017, 7:00 pm
The food industry is cheering and health experts are jeering the USDA’s announcement on Friday that it is proposing to push new nutrition label requirements back by a year and a half.
Posted: October 2, 2017, 5:00 pm
A move last week by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will delay enforcement of OSHA’s silica rule for the construction industry for another 30 days – to Oct. 23. The DOL said the delay was necessary because of the “dramatic” reduction in the exposure limit – from 250 to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an eight-hour shift.
Posted: September 28, 2017, 2:00 pm
While the new headlines are all about Hurricanes, health care, North Korea and tax “reform,” chickens around the country are getting more and more nervous as the foxes quietly move into the government agencies that are supposed to be protecting them.
Posted: September 22, 2017, 6:00 pm

Occupational Safety

Learn about the latest safety issues affecting various industries.

Workers’ compensation costs may not reflect the true cost of work-related illness and injury, according to two new studies that crunched the numbers on how work-related injuries affect companies’ health care costs – even when workers comp is available.
Posted: February 23, 2018, 3:00 pm
A worker who was fired after notifying OSHA about safety hazards will get back wages and a clean record, under a settlement reached between the agency and Environmental Management Specialists Inc. (EMS) of Steubenville, Ohio.
Posted: February 22, 2018, 7:00 pm
A company with a troubled track record on safety experienced a workplace fatality last week, when an employee died in an apparent electrocution. The Feb. 15 early morning incident at Carbide Industries in Louisville, Kentucky claimed the life of 38-year-old Patrick Childers, according to news reports.
Posted: February 20, 2018, 3:00 pm
Earlier this week, President Trump submitted his Fiscal Year 2019 budget proposal. This is his second budget proposal, and like the first, although it left OSHA’s budget fairly flat, it once again proposes to slash or eliminate important safety and health programs and agencies.
Posted: February 16, 2018, 5:00 am
A team of surgeons were flown to the site of a construction accident in North Texas earlier this month, in order to amputate the leg of a worker who’d gotten caught in a trenching machine.
Posted: February 15, 2018, 5:00 pm
A New York State paper milling company has agreed to improve safety and health conditions at its Carthage facility and pay $175,000 in penalties, under a settlement reached with OSHA. Carthage Specialty Paperboard Inc. was cited for 62 safety and health violations in June 2017.
Posted: February 15, 2018, 5:00 am
Law enforcement officers (LEOS) are three times more likely to sustain a nonfatal injury than all other U.S. workers, according to a first-of-its-kind study that examines nonfatal injuries among the group on a national scale. Assaults and violent acts are the top cause of such injuries (36%), followed by bodily reactions & exertion from running or other repetitive motions (15%), and transportation incidents (14%).
Posted: February 14, 2018, 3:00 pm
What happens when financial pressures and fear of “big government” intrusion run into concerns about the safety of children. In the case of agriculture, the children lose. The New York Times ran heartbreaking story earlier this week about children as young as 5 getting hurt and killed working with heavy machinery on the family farm.
Posted: February 12, 2018, 5:00 am
The Organization for Standardization (ISO) has announced the release date for the global occupational safety and health management standard it’s been working on for five years. ISO 45001, Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements, will be available starting March 12, 2018. The global death toll from work-related accidents or diseases is 600 people die each day, or more than 2.78 million a year.
Posted: February 9, 2018, 3:00 pm
When using machinery, pinch points can catch workers when they are not looking. Pulleys and belts can form in-running nips, a type of pinch point that can draw the hand in and cause severe damage. Here’s what to do: Wear work gloves when handling rough materials and when hands are directly involved with lifting or moving objects.
Posted: February 9, 2018, 5:00 am
Two complaints about workplace violence at a Colorado nursing home led OSHA investigators to uncover many more incidents – not all of them reported. The investigation at the Pioneer Health Care Center in Rocky Ford was opened in August 2017, based on two complaints. OSHA subsequently identified five documented incidents of workplace violence in 2017 that resulted in employee injuries, along with several unreported incidents.
Posted: February 8, 2018, 5:00 am

It’s not science fiction: robots are invading our world in a big way. That invasion, fueled by dramatic advancements in technology that make the devices more sophisticated than ever, is resulting in their increased use in workplaces, among other spheres. With this in mind, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has established a virtual Center for Occupational Robotics Research that will specifically address the safety and health implications for worker-robot interactions.

Posted: February 7, 2018, 3:00 pm
Koch Foods of Gainesville, LLC., was cited for exposing employees to amputation hazards; and failing to provide fall protection, identify which employees were using hazardous energy control locks, and train employees exposed to noise hazards. Proposed penalties total $208,977.
Posted: February 6, 2018, 7:00 pm
Principals of ProAct Safety and best-selling authors Shawn M. Galloway and Terry L. Mathis announce their newly-released audiobook, Lean Behavior-Based Safety: BBS for Today's Realities. Lean Behavior-Based Safety is an updated model to traditional BBS, introduced in 2001 with a focus on providing new value with more efficient, safer work.
Posted: February 6, 2018, 5:00 am
A manufacturer of storage tanks and pressure vessels for the petrochemical, paper, and energy industries sharply reduced its recordable injury rate after reaching out to OSHA’s On-Site Consultation Program to help it identify and reduce workplace hazards. James Machine Works, LLC (JMW), which has been family owned for three generations, has grown from three to 160 employees since it was founded in 1927.
Posted: February 6, 2018, 5:00 am
A workplace violence incident claims two lives, a new global OSH standard is approved and the head of the CDC steps down over ethical concerns. These were among the top stories featured on ISHN.com this week.
Posted: February 3, 2018, 5:00 am
Two people are dead at Metro Detroit companies after a disgruntled former employee went on a rampage yesterday, returning to three companies where he’d worked and shooting at people with an AK-47. The shooter was eventually apprehended by police, but not before carjacking a semi-truck and leading law enforcement officials on a chase.
Posted: February 2, 2018, 5:00 am
After five years in development, a new standard that provides a framework for improving employee safety, reducing workplace risks and creating better, safer working conditions, all over the world has been approved by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems, which was developed with support from the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), is a voluntary consensus standard intended to help combat the global toll of work-related fatalities, which currently number about 7,600 a year.
Posted: February 1, 2018, 3:00 pm
Man found dead, pinned underneath Bobcat in York County- PARADISE TWP., PA — A New Oxford man died Monday afternoon after being pinned underneath a piece of construction equipment. Shane Hockensmith, 30, was found unresponsive — and determined dead — under a Bobcat in the first block of Beaver Creek Road around 4:12 p.m., according to the York County Coroner’s Office.
Posted: February 1, 2018, 5:00 am
In a move that surprised and pleased food and worker safety advocates, the USDA has denied a bid by the U.S. poultry industry to allow inspection lines to speed up. It was the second defeat for the National Chicken Council (NCC), which had attempted to get the limit raised under the Obama administration.
Posted: January 31, 2018, 3:00 pm
Skyrocketing demand for automation has dramatically increased the number of robots deployed by industry to over 1.5 million. Meanwhile, collaborative robots or "co-bots" are making their way into new work environments, such as light manufacturing, fulfillment centers, and agriculture.
Posted: January 30, 2018, 5:00 am
A Georgia poultry processor exposed its employees to amputation, fall and noise hazards, according to OSHA, which has cited Gainesville-based Koch Foods for multiple safety and health violations at its poultry processing plant. The company faces proposed penalties of $208,977.
Posted: January 29, 2018, 5:00 am
OSHA has cited Supplyside USA of Lenox, Illinois for machine safety violations after an employee was injured while conducting maintenance on equipment. The pallet manufacturer faces $91,832 in proposed penalties for two repeated, six serious, and three other-than-serious violations.
Posted: January 25, 2018, 3:00 pm
AMES, Iowa — An Ames company has confirmed one of its employees died as a result of an accident on the job. At approximately 4 p.m. on Thursday, Danfoss employee John Lavery, 45, was working at the company’s 13th Street location. A preliminary investigation revealed the safety hood on a motor testing operation fell and struck Lavery.
Posted: January 23, 2018, 7:00 pm
It has been a year since Donald Trump took office. Despite promising to be a friend of workers, Trump has spent much of his first year making our workplaces less safe. AFL-CIO Director of Safety and Health Peg Seminario described Trump's actions:
Posted: January 22, 2018, 3:00 pm
Virginia is considering a bill aimed at getting out in front of workplace violence by allowing companies to communicate freely with police about potential perpetrators. Legislation introduced by Del. Chris Hurst, D-Blacksburg, would grant civil immunity to employers who share information about violent acts or threats made by current or former employees to potential employers or law enforcement.
Posted: January 19, 2018, 5:00 pm
Serious injuries to two employees brought OSHA inspectors to a vinyl floor manufacturing facility in Fostoria, Ohio, where they found multiple safety violations. Nox US LLC, an Ohio manufacturer of luxury vinyl tile, now faces $514,236 in proposed penalties and has been placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program. Both injuries occurred in June 2017.
Posted: January 18, 2018, 7:00 pm
One sign that anti-OSHA conservatives are getting nervous about articles (and television appearances) highlighting the declining number of OSHA inspectors are articles questioning whether government plays a useful role in protecting workers. In this case, the Reason Foundation, which “advances a free society by developing, applying, and promoting libertarian principles, including individual liberty, free markets, and the rule of law,” has concluded that reducing the number of OSHA inspectors has no effect on workplace safety.
Posted: January 18, 2018, 5:00 am
Work-related accidents in 2017 in Bangladesh in 2017 claimed 1,242 lives and injured 371, according to a report by the country’s Occupational Safety, Health and Environment Foundation (OSHE). Nearly 300 fatalities and 101 serious injuries occurred during the first three months of the year.
Posted: January 17, 2018, 5:00 am
The motion picture company behind the TV show, “The Walking Dead” has been cited and fined for a fatal fall that occurred on the Senoia, Georgia set last year. Stuntman John Bernecker died on July 12 of blunt force trauma to the head after plunging headfirst from a balcony to a concrete floor 22 feet below.
Posted: January 15, 2018, 5:00 pm

Transportation Safety

Transportation Safety covers motor vehicles, railway and air transportation and includes both occupational and non-occupational hazards.

In recent years, Polaris Industries, the leading producer of off-road vehicles, has recalled hundreds of thousands of its trail machines due to a fire danger. The hazard is linked to at least three deaths and three dozen injuries ranging from minor scrapes to limbs burned so badly amputation was required.
Posted: February 20, 2018, 7:00 pm
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued three urgent safety recommendations last week, acting upon the agency’s findings in two ongoing railroad accident investigations. The Federal Railroad Administration received one urgent safety recommendation based on NTSB findings in the agency’s investigation of the Feb. 4, 2018, collision of an Amtrak train and a CSX train near Cayce, South Carolina.
Posted: February 19, 2018, 5:00 pm
Preliminary estimates from the National Safety Council indicate motor vehicle deaths dipped slightly – 1% – in 2017, claiming 40,100 lives versus the 2016 total of 40,327. The small decline is not necessarily an indication of progress as much as a leveling off of the steepest two-year increase in over 50 years.
Posted: February 15, 2018, 7:00 pm
Two train accidents within 13 weeks of each other – one in New Jersey and the other in New York – had the same root causes, says the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB): the undiagnosed sleep apnea of the trains’ engineers. Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. It can result in a sufferer feeling tired even after a full night's sleep.
Posted: February 14, 2018, 7:00 pm
A United Airlines flight made an emergency landing yesterday after the protective cowling on one of its engines detached from the plane and fell away. Terrified passengers on board Flight 1175 from San Francisco to Honolulu reported a loud bang when the incident occurred, followed by severe shaking.
Posted: February 14, 2018, 5:00 pm
The percentage of crashes involving drowsiness is nearly eight times higher than federal estimates indicate, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The travel organization is touting the study as the most in-depth drowsy driving research ever conducted in the U.S. using footage of everyday drivers.
Posted: February 13, 2018, 5:00 am
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has opened the public docket Wednesday on its ongoing investigation of a Gates Learjet 35A crash that occurred during a circling approach to a runway at Teterboro Airport, Teterboro, New Jersey, killing both crewmembers. The May 15, 2017 accident left a debris field that was 440 feet long and 100 feet wide.
Posted: February 8, 2018, 5:00 pm
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Tuesday determined that two commuter railroad terminal accidents in the New York area were caused by engineer fatigue resulting from undiagnosed severe obstructive sleep apnea. The Sept. 29, 2016, accident on the New Jersey Transit railroad at Hoboken, New Jersey, killed one person, injured 110, and resulted in major damage to the station.
Posted: February 7, 2018, 5:00 pm

We’re now midway through the 2017–2018 Most Wanted List cycle, and we’re eager to learn how this year will measure up to previous years. The past 2 years have resulted in an increase in highway traffic fatalities­­—from 32,000 roadway deaths per year in 2014 to more than 37,000 in 2016­­—so clearly, improvements are vital.

Posted: February 7, 2018, 5:00 am
The victims include a Bible college student in Iowa who was bicycling home from work, a 13-year-old Michigan boy riding in his older sister’s car and a Minnesota school bus driver picking up the morning newspaper in front of his home. All were killed in recent years by distracted drivers who had been texting or looking at their GPS. Yet none of the drivers responsible for those deaths spent more than a few days behind bars.
Posted: February 6, 2018, 5:00 pm
The President and CEO of Amtrak is laying the blame for Sunday’s fatal train collision in South Carolina on CSX Corp. Amtrak engineer Michael Kempf, 54 and 36-year-old conductor Michael Cella were killed and more than 100 people were injured – two of them critically - when an Amtrak passenger train slammed into a CSX freight train that was parked on a side track.
Posted: February 5, 2018, 5:00 am
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has sent a full go-team to Crozet, VA to investigate yesterday’s grade-crossing accident involving an Amtrak passenger train and a truck. The chartered train, which was carrying Republican lawmakers headed to a retreat in West Virginia, collided with what news sources say was a garbage truck.
Posted: February 1, 2018, 5:00 pm
An internal defect in a commercial airliner engine caused an uncontained engine failure resulting in a fire and the emergency evacuation of all aboard, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said yesterday. American Airlines flight 383, a Boeing 767 bound for Miami, was on its takeoff roll at Chicago O’Hare International Airport Oct. 28, 2016, when a turbine disk in the right engine failed, sending metal fragments through a fuel tank and wing structure.
Posted: January 31, 2018, 5:00 am
The National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) investigation of a crash involving a semitrailer cargo tank loaded with propane has identified safety issues that while unrelated to the probable cause, pose a substantial risk to the driving public.
Posted: January 30, 2018, 7:00 pm
A new federal regulation requiring commercial truck drivers to electronically log their hours is drawing both support and criticism from the trucking industry. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rule – which went into effect in December 2017, started requiring commercial drivers to outfit their trucks with electronic logging devices (ELDs) to replace the paper time cards the industry has used for decades.
Posted: January 26, 2018, 5:00 pm
The engineer who was in control of an Amtrak passenger train that derailed Dec. 18 in DuPont, Washington as it sped into a speed-restricted curve told investigators he didn’t see the speed limit sign that was posted two miles ahead of the curve. Three passengers were killed and 62 injured in the derailment.
Posted: January 25, 2018, 7:00 pm
Amid a resurgence in U.S. traffic fatalities now taking roughly 100 lives a day, an advocacy group today issued a report card identifying states that do the most, and least, to improve highway safety. The ratings by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety credited six states — California, Oregon, Washington, Louisiana, Delaware and Rhode Island—with having the most protective road safety laws.
Posted: January 23, 2018, 5:00 pm
Indecision and communication issues during an emergency on board an American Airlines flight put the lives of 161 passengers and nine crew members in jeopardy, but fortunately, there were no fatalities during the Oct. 28, 2017 episode. That was one of the conclusions about the incident at Chicago O’Hare International Airport that was already released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
Posted: January 19, 2018, 3:00 pm
Two unrelated railroad accidents – one of them fatal - have resulted in four new safety recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). In its investigation of a railroad employee fatality in Kansas City, Kansas that occurred on Sept. 29, 2015, the NTSB determined the probable cause of the accident was a foreman being in the gage of the track, for unknown reasons, while a train switching movement was being performed by another crew.
Posted: January 12, 2018, 7:00 pm
Posted with permission from Confined Space, a newsletter of workplace safety and labor issues. After a 3 month-long trial, jurors are finally deliberating on the fate of three rail workers accused of criminal neglegence when a “bomb train” carrying 73 cars of highly combustible crude oil derailed in the small Quebec town of Lac-Mégantic in 2013, killing 47 people.
Posted: January 12, 2018, 3:00 pm
“Safety should not be a competitive advantage.” That’s the message I keep in mind every time I visit groups that represent employers, like the Network of Employers for Transportation Safety (NETS) which focuses on highway safety, or when I meet with the executives at individual companies, who may use many different modes of transportation for their businesses.
Posted: January 5, 2018, 5:00 pm
It wasn’t distracted driving that caused last month’s fatal Amtrak derailment in Washington State, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which has released preliminary details in what is expected to be a lengthy investigation. Exactly what did cause the accident has yet to be determined.
Posted: January 4, 2018, 3:00 pm
You are on a gurney, being wheeled toward an ambulance, past a burning car, a man in handcuffs, police officers, firefighters and other injured people. Suddenly, your condition takes a turn for the worse. You are being given CPR. An oxygen mask is placed over your face. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t look good.
Posted: December 30, 2017, 5:00 am
Planes, trains and automobiles…and drones…were frequently in the news this year. Accident investigations found fatigue, substance misuse and bad decisions behind a number of transportation-related accidents. Regulators attempted to keep pace with the development of autonomous vehicles and the growing popularity of drones. Here are the top transportation safety stories of 2017.
Posted: December 29, 2017, 5:00 am
Federal state and local officials gathered last week in Point Pleasant, West Virginia to commemorate a tragedy. Fifty years ago, during rush hour on Dec. 15, 1967, the Silver Bridge connecting Ohio and West Virginia collapsed into the Ohio River, sending 46 people to their death. Investigators later determined that the collapse was caused by a crack in an eyebar in the bridge’s suspension chain.
Posted: December 20, 2017, 7:00 pm
At the request of U.S. national security and law enforcement agencies, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is using its existing authority under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations § 99.7 – “Special Security Instructions” – to address concerns about unauthorized drone operations over seven Department of Energy (DOE) facilities.
Posted: December 19, 2017, 7:00 pm
The train that derailed outside Tacoma, Washington early yesterday, killing three people and injuring scores more, was going 80 miles an hour in a section of track designed for 30-mile-an-hour speeds, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which is investigating the incident. News sources say that while rounding a corner and heading toward a bridge, the train jumped the tracks and slammed into a ditch, spewing some of its 12 cars across a highway where they came into contact with five cars and two trucks.
Posted: December 19, 2017, 3:00 pm
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has determined that the operator of a drone that collided with an U.S. Army helicopter failed to see and avoid the helicopter because he was intentionally flying the drone out of visual range and did not have adequate knowledge of regulations and safe operating practices.
Posted: December 15, 2017, 3:00 pm
The deadliest shipping disaster involving a U.S.-flagged vessel in more than 30 years was caused by a captain’s failure to avoid sailing into a hurricane despite numerous opportunities to route a course away from hazardous weather, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced during a public meeting Tuesday. The cargo vessel S.S. El Faro sank Oct. 1, 2015, in the Atlantic Ocean during Hurricane Joaquin, taking the lives of all 33 aboard.
Posted: December 14, 2017, 5:00 am
Each holiday season for the past several years, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has received reports from pilots who said they were distracted or temporarily blinded by residential laser-light displays. The FAA's concerns about lasers – regardless of the source – is that they not be aimed at aircraft in a way that can threaten the safety of a flight by distracting or blinding the pilots.
Posted: December 13, 2017, 5:00 pm

Oil and Gas Industry Safety & health

Discussions of key hazards and safety practices in the oil and gas energy extraction and processing industry.

An oil and gas industry organization has developed a set of tools intended to help make the business case for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). IPIECA, the oil and gas industry association’s for environmental and social issues, says the tools can also be used to improve internal company due diligence processes for social performance.
Posted: February 5, 2018, 7:00 pm
The U.S. Chemical Safety Board says it will move forward with a full investigation into Monday’s fatal gas well explosion near Quinton, Oklahoma. Five workers were killed in the blast, which was followed by a fire that destroyed the drill site. Seventeen workers survived. Most had no or minor injuries; one was flown to a hospital in Tulsa for treatment.
Posted: January 26, 2018, 5:00 am
The bodies of five oil rig workers who were missing after a gas well explosion in Oklahoma on Monday have been recovered. "All five of the missing workers have been located," Pittsburg County Sheriff Chris Morris said at a press conference. "The remains will be transported back to the medical examiner's office for identification, and we will continue to secure the site and the scene until the investigation is complete."
Posted: January 24, 2018, 2:00 pm
Five oil rig workers in Oklahoma are still missing after a gas well explosion yesterday morning, according to Pittsburg County Sheriff Chris Morris. The blast and ensuing fire occurred at 8:45 a.m. News sources say emergency responders who were attempting to battle the blaze were hampered by several subsequent explosions. The blaze was extinguished by Monday night.
Posted: January 23, 2018, 1:00 pm
Exxon Mobil Corp. and the federal government have settled a case arising from the company being charged with violating the Clean Air Act due to air pollution violations at eight petrochemical plants in Texas and Louisiana. News sources say the company has agreed to pay a $2.5 million civil penalty related the violations and spend approximately $300 million to install new equipment to improve operation and monitoring of industrial flares at the facilities.
Posted: November 1, 2017, 4:00 pm

It’s been known for years now that driver fatigue is a serious risk – both on and off the job. A study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found fatigue was the top cause of driver distractions, representing 20 percent of all motor vehicle accidents. We’re just not getting enough sleep.

Posted: November 1, 2017, 4:00 am
Seven workers were injured last night – five of them critically -- when an oil rig exploded on Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana. News sources say the Coast Guard is searching for one person who is still missing. All of the workers suffered blast-type injuries and burns.
Posted: October 16, 2017, 5:00 am

What if we told you that preparing a proactive front-line approach to oil spills could help reduce your overall risk, preventing a minor spill from becoming a major EHS catastrophe?

Posted: October 10, 2017, 4:00 am
IPIECA - the global oil and gas industry association for environmental and social issues – has released a new publication for medical professionals in the industry.
Posted: September 11, 2017, 4:00 am
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) opened the public docket Monday as part of its ongoing investigation of the Aug. 10, 2016, apartment building explosion fueled by natural gas in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Posted: August 16, 2017, 2:00 pm
OSHA and the DJ Basin Safety Council have renewed an alliance to provide oil and gas industry workers in northern Colorado with information, guidance, and training to enhance the industry’s safety culture.
Posted: August 11, 2017, 4:00 am
Cal/OSHA and Chevron have reached a settlement agreement for a comprehensive plan that will improve safety at the Chevron Richmond refinery and for surrounding communities. The agreement meets and exceeds California’s landmark regulation to reduce risk at refineries, which was approved by the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board in May and is currently pending approval by the Office of Administrative Law.
Posted: July 27, 2017, 2:00 pm
A report published recently by the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP) shows the need on the part of some companies to make changes, according to the organization.
Posted: July 21, 2017, 4:00 am
IPIECA, the global oil and gas industry association for environmental and social issues, has released the final version of the IPIECA climate change reporting framework. Supplementary guidance for the oil and gas industry on voluntary sustainability reporting (2017) is now available.
Posted: July 12, 2017, 6:00 pm
During 2003–2013, fatality rates for oil and gas extraction workers decreased for all causes of death except those associated with fall events, which increased two percent annually during 2003–2013. To better understand risk factors for these events, CDC examined fatal fall events in the oil and gas extraction industry during 2005–2014 using data from case investigations conducted by OSHA.
Posted: July 6, 2017, 4:00 am

The safety challenges of the 21st century require an integrative approach that brings fresh thinking and sound practices from across industries and among areas of safety specialization.

Posted: June 1, 2017, 4:00 am
While regulations on the federal level are being repealed or delayed, the rulemaking process is still going strong at the state level – as demonstrated by California’s approval last week of a tough new oil refinery safety regulation.
Posted: May 23, 2017, 4:00 am
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has ordered a Texas-based company to stop new drilling on a $4.2 billion project, after one of its pipelines spilled millions of gallons of a lubricant into a half a million square feet of Ohio wetlands.
Posted: May 12, 2017, 6:00 pm
An effort to overturn a rule limiting methane emissions from oil and natural gas drilling has failed in the Senate – a first in the Trump administration’s ongoing effort to repeal Obama administration rules it deems burdensome to business.
Posted: May 10, 2017, 4:00 pm
Investigators from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) are in Firestone, Colorado to examine what’s left of a home that blew up when an abandoned pipeline from a nearby well leaked gas into the basement. The explosion killed two people and left a third badly burned.
Posted: May 8, 2017, 4:00 am
Previous research has shown that fatality rates for oil and gas extraction workers were decreasing for all causes of death except for those associated with falls. (1) A new study from National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, examined risk factors for fatal fall events in this industry during 2005-2014 using data from case investigations conducted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Posted: May 1, 2017, 4:00 pm
Two oil and gas industry associations have partnered to develop a checklist to enable companies to prepare for and respond to events that may cause multiple casualties.
Posted: April 10, 2017, 4:00 am
Operators of twin oil pipelines beneath the waterway where Lakes Huron and Michigan converge insist they remain structurally sound even though an outer layer of protective covering has worn away in some places. Skeptics said the deterioration is further evidence the lines should be shut down.
Posted: March 22, 2017, 4:00 pm
The Louisiana Bucket Brigade and DisasterMap.net recently released their latest tally of petrochemical accidents in the state. During the first two weeks of February alone, the environmental group documented 78 such accidents, including 14 on offshore drilling platforms in Louisiana waters. One of the accidents killed a pipeline worker, while another released cancer-causing benzene into the St. James community.
Posted: March 22, 2017, 4:00 am
Small drones are watching over Houston's oil and gas industry with the help of DataWing, a consulting firm that assists other businesses with their drone departments. The firm trains pilots and helps companies write their safety manuals. DataWing also has its own pilots across the country.
Posted: March 22, 2017, 4:00 am
About 70 trains rumble through Spokane each day. Since those trains began hauling flammable crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken region to Western Washington ports and refineries in 2012, state and local attention to rail infrastructure has increased.
Posted: March 22, 2017, 4:00 am
Sunoco Logistics is digging away on its Mariner East 2 pipeline — a project that will quadruple the volume of natural gas liquids flowing across Pennsylvania once the company navigates more than 2,000 streams, wetlands, roads and railways between Western Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia area.
Posted: March 22, 2017, 4:00 am
After another year of decreased workplace injuries and fatalities in the North Dakota, industry and officials are doubling down on partnerships they say helped improve safety. OSHA, the state of North Dakota and the MonDaks Safety Network, made up of oil and gas workers in the region, signed a five-year extension of a safety alliance formed in early 2015 on during the North Dakota Safety Council’s Annual Safety & Health Conference.
Posted: March 22, 2017, 4:00 am
The global safety harness market is projected to grow to USD 1,380 million by 2021, at a CAGR of more than 7 percent over the forecast period, according to the latest market study released by Technavio.
Posted: March 21, 2017, 4:00 am
A coalition of residents, tribal leaders, health professionals and environmental advocates are urging Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette to decommission a pipeline they say poses a threat to the environment and human health.
Posted: March 16, 2017, 6:00 pm

Top OSHA Violations

In this column, ISHN will report in each issue on one of the 12 most frequently cited OSHA standards.

A worker painting an electric maintenance tower comes in contact with an energized power line and falls 70 feet – striking a second employee working on a lower level and causing him to fall as well.
Posted: July 1, 2016, 4:00 am

Training requirement violations occur in nearly every standard included in OSHA’s top 10 violations list, including fall protection, respiratory protection, lockout-tagout, machine guarding and electrical safety.

Posted: June 1, 2016, 4:00 am
Electrical accidents in the workplace can have horrific consequences.
Posted: May 3, 2016, 4:00 am
Lockout/tagout (29 CFR 1910.147) was the fifth most frequently cited OSHA violation during the period October 2014 to September 2015. There were 3,350 citations reported across all industries during that time with $9,686,894 in penalties.
Posted: April 1, 2016, 4:00 am

When engineering control measures aren’t possible or sufficient to reduce exposure to harmful contaminants such as dusts, fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smokes, sprays, or vapors, OSHA requires – through its 1910.134 standard1 – that workers be provided with respiratory protection.

Posted: March 10, 2016, 7:00 pm

When engineering control measures aren’t possible or sufficient to reduce exposure to harmful contaminants such as dusts, fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smokes, sprays, or vapors, OSHA requires – through its 1910.134 standard1 – that workers be provided with respiratory protection.

Posted: March 1, 2016, 5:00 am
Every year, about 30 million people in the United States are occupationally exposed to hazardous noise. Noise-related hearing loss has been listed as one of the most prevalent occupational health concerns for more than 25 years.
Posted: February 3, 2016, 5:00 am

OSHA standard 1910.305 covers electrical wiring methods, components and equipment for general use.

Posted: December 18, 2015, 5:00 pm

OSHA standard 1910.305 covers electrical wiring methods, components and equipment for general use.

Posted: December 17, 2015, 7:00 pm

OSHA’s respiratory protection standard 1910.0134 was the fourth most-frequently cited rule in fiscal year 2014, a ranking which reflects the importance of respirators among the types of protective equipment for workers who must perform tasks in hazardous environments.

Posted: November 3, 2015, 5:00 am

In fiscal year 2014, OSHA issued 2,396 citations and almost $7 million ($6,891,521)in penalties for violations of its machine guard standard (1910.212), making it the ninth-most violated standard in the time period.

Posted: October 1, 2015, 4:00 am

OSHA’s standard on ladder safety — 1926.1053 — was among the top 10 most-cited violations in fiscal year 2014, with 2,911 citations and 2,267 inspections within that timeframe in all industries.

Posted: August 6, 2015, 4:00 am

OSHA’s standard on ladder safety — 1926.1053 — was among the top 10 most-cited violations in fiscal year 2014, with 2,911 citations and 2,267 inspections within that timeframe in all industries.

Posted: August 3, 2015, 4:00 am

Workers performing tasks while on scaffolding can be exposed to fall hazards involving considerable height, a factor which makes scaffolding-related violations especially serious.

Posted: July 1, 2015, 1:30 pm
Training is an essential component of many of the standards set by OSHA that are most frequently violated year after year.
Posted: June 1, 2015, 4:00 am
Violations related to electrical hazards led to 2,192 citations (from 1,681 OSHA inspections) and a total of $2,817,950 in penalties in 2014, making 1910.303 the eighth most frequently cited standard, according to the agency.
Posted: May 27, 2015, 6:00 pm
Violations related to electrical hazards led to 2,192 citations (from 1,681 OSHA inspections) and a total of $2,817,950 in penalties in 2014, making 1910.303 the eighth most frequently cited standard, according to the agency.
Posted: May 1, 2015, 4:00 am
OSHA standard 1910.147 The control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout) covers the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment in which the unexpected energization or startup of the machines ,/p>
Posted: April 1, 2015, 4:00 am
OSHA’s 29 CFR 1910.1200 Hazard Communication Standard was the second most frequently standard cited during fiscal year 2014, right behind fall protection.
Posted: March 3, 2015, 5:00 am
With nearly $20 million in penalties across all industries, fall protection topped the list of OSHA’s most frequently cited standards during fiscal year 2014
Posted: January 5, 2015, 5:00 am
OSHA standard 1910.305 covers electrical wiring methods, components and equipment for general use.
Posted: December 2, 2014, 5:00 am
OSHA penalized employers $1,746,465 for violations of its respiratory protection standard 1910.134 in fiscal year 2013, from October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013.
Posted: October 29, 2014, 4:00 am
OSHA’s powered industrial truck standard moved up from seventh place to sixth on the agency’s top ten most frequently cited standards for Fiscal 2013
Posted: October 2, 2014, 4:00 am
Here are the stats for machine guard standard (19100212 General requirements for all machines) violations cited by Federal OSHA during the period October 2012 through September 2013
Posted: September 3, 2014, 4:00 am
OSHA’s standard on ladder safety – 1926.1053 – was one of the top ten most frequently cited standards violations in fiscal year 2013
Posted: August 1, 2014, 4:00 am
OSHA stated in 1998 that “many standards promulgated by OSHA explicitly require the employer to train employees in the safety and health aspects of their jobs.
Posted: June 2, 2014, 4:00 am
Total penalty amount proposed by OSHA for violations of the standard for electrical, wiring methods, components and equipment, general industry 1910.303 (October 2012 through September 2013).
Posted: May 1, 2014, 4:00 am
Total penalty amount proposed by OSHA for violations of the lockout-tagout standard 1910.0147 (October 2012 through September 2013).
Posted: March 31, 2014, 4:00 am
> Total penalty amount proposed by OSHA for violations of the hazard communication standard 1910.1200.
Posted: March 4, 2014, 5:00 am
Throughout 2014, ISHN will report in each issue on one of the 12 most frequently cited OSHA standards, for fiscal year 2013, ending September 30, 2013.
Posted: February 3, 2014, 5:00 am

Industrial Hygiene

Anticipated, detection, evaluation and control of hazardous conditions (such as excessive noise) and hazardous substances (such as toxic chemicals).

CHEMICAL SUBSTANCES TLVs® 2018 NOTICE OF INTENDED CHANGES (NIC) Introduction to the Chemical Substances – Threshold Limit Value-Surface Limit (TLV-SL) New notation – Ototoxicant (OTO) Antimony trioxide (withdrawn from Notice of Intended Changes) Cobalt and inorganic compounds, as Co Cumene Cyanazine Cyclopentadiene (withdraw adopted TLV® and Documentation; see Dicyclopentadiene, including Cyclopentadiene)
Posted: January 31, 2018, 5:00 am
ACGIH® announced today that its Board of Directors ratified the 2018 Threshold Limit Values (TLVs®) for Chemical Substances and Physical Agents and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs®). The Board also approved recommendations for additions to the Notice of Intended Changes (NIC).
Posted: January 31, 2018, 5:00 am
ACGIH® and its renowned Industrial Ventilation Committee present a popular continuing education course this spring. Fundamentals in Industrial Ventilation & Practical Applications of Useful Equations will be held April 2327, 2018 at the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Cincinnati-Blue Ash in Cincinnati, Ohio. Register early and save! Fundamentals in Industrial Ventilation is a course that covers both basic and advanced topics related to industrial ventilation including:
Posted: January 9, 2018, 5:00 am
The American Industrial Hygiene Association® (AIHA) and the Occupational Hygiene Training Association® (OHTA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that details several areas of future collaboration. AIHA and OHTA plan to build on current collaborative efforts to promote better standards of occupational hygiene practice throughout the world.
Posted: December 22, 2017, 3:00 pm
Sheila Eads, President and Chief Executive Officer of ERB Industries was elected Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA), at the association’s Annual Meeting in Arlington, VA. Craig Wallentine, Global Business Development Manager from DowDuPont, was elected Vice Chairman.
Posted: December 14, 2017, 5:00 am
T. Renee Anthony, PhD, CIH, CSP, FAIHA has been selected as the new editor in chief of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (JOEH). Dr. Anthony, an associate professor in the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, College of Public Health, University of Iowa, will take the reins January 1, 2018.
Posted: November 14, 2017, 5:00 am
Bringing attention to industrial hygienists - “the quiet heroes in every workplace” - through a website and videos rendered in comic book style has resulted in awards for the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA). IHHeroes.org website and the inaugural edition of its IH Heroes comic have both won Gold Awards in the category of Digital Media/Website Nonprofit and Print Media/Publications Book by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP) MarCom Awards.
Posted: November 3, 2017, 4:00 am
ACGIH® is pleased to announce new members for its 2018 Board of Directors and its 2018 Nominating Committee.
Posted: September 27, 2017, 4:00 am
The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA®) has won three dotCOMM awards for its #IAmIH campaign, launched earlier this year. The awards include a platinum dotCOMM award for excellence in documentary filmmaking for its first-ever day-in-the-life documentary on an industrial hygienist, a platinum award for the first-ever #IAmIH comic, and a gold award for the campaign's website, www.ihheroes.org.
Posted: August 22, 2017, 4:00 pm
ACGIH® announced today the release of its two-tier Under Study list pursuant to changes previously made to its TLV®/BEI® Development Process.
Posted: July 26, 2017, 8:00 pm
ACGIH® and its renowned Industrial Ventilation Committee present a popular continuing education course in September. Fundamentals in Industrial Ventilation & Practical Applications of Useful Equations will be held September 18–22, 2017 at the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Cincinnati-Blue Ash in Cincinnati, Ohio. Earlybirds who register for the course on or before August 21, 2017 will save $100.00.
Posted: July 26, 2017, 4:00 am
The American Industrial Hygiene Association Proficiency Analytical Testing Programs (AIHA PAT) is pleased to announce that they have been granted ISO/IEC 17043:2010 accreditation by the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA), after a thorough assessment and review of its quality management system and competence to develop and administer specific proficiency testing protocols.
Posted: July 25, 2017, 1:33 pm
The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA®) will receive two APEX Awards for Publication Excellence through Communications Concepts, Inc. for its IH Professional Pathway™ program . The program won a Grand Award in the Electronic Media category and an Award of Excellence in the category for Campaigns, Programs & Plans - Membership & Customer.
Posted: July 5, 2017, 6:00 pm
In an entertaining series of brief five-minute talks Tuesday morning called Ignite, experts shared stories from their work as an industrial hygienist or tips on how to make the most of your career. In his presentation, Mark Rollins compared his work in industrial hygiene with his love of good beer.
Posted: June 6, 2017, 4:00 am
The Board of Trustees of the American Industrial Hygiene Foundation (AIHF) has selected 51 outstanding students to receive more than $131,800 in scholarships this year. The recipients have distinguished themselves through their commitment to their studies, their communities, and the profession of industrial hygiene.
Posted: May 15, 2017, 4:00 am
The American Industrial Hygiene Association® (AIHA) and the California Industrial Hygiene Council (CIHC) are asking lawmakers in California's State Legislature to ensure that Certified Industrial Hygienists (CIH) have a seat at the table by requiring their membership on the California Toxic Substances Board, which would be created by Senate Bill 774. As currently written, the bill restricts membership on the Board to only one person from any of the following diverse professions: toxicology, chemistry, geology, industrial hygiene, or engineering specific to the statutory responsibilities of the Board.
Posted: April 24, 2017, 6:00 pm
ACGIH® will honor its 2017 Awards recipients at the American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition (AIHce) held June 47, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. 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.
Posted: April 18, 2017, 4:00 am
Today, the American Industrial Hygiene Association® (AIHA) announced the new members of its Board of Directors for 2017. The new Board members will be inducted at AIHA's Annual Business Meeting on Wednesday, June 7, during the 2017 American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition (AIHce EXP) in Seattle, Wash.
Posted: April 5, 2017, 4:00 am
The 2016 American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition (AIHce) Virtual Conference has won the Abila Excellence Award-Innovator. The Abila Excellence Awards recognize association, nonprofit, and government customers who have shown exemplary achievement through their use of Abila products.
Posted: March 24, 2017, 4:00 am
The NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards is intended as a source of general industrial hygiene information for workers, employers, and occupational health professionals. The Pocket Guide presents key information and data in abbreviated tabular form for 677 chemicals or substance groupings (e.g., manganese compounds, tellurium compounds, inorganic tin compounds, etc.) that are found in the work environment.
Posted: March 9, 2017, 5:00 am
American Industrial Hygiene Association’s (AIHA®) efforts to grow the next generation of occupational safety and health professionals has gotten a boost in the form of an Innovation Grant from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) Foundation.
Posted: January 17, 2017, 5:00 pm

Part 1 of 2 - Who is today’s EHS professional?

Entering 2017, your typical EHS pro is a 53-year-old male, a baby boomer, with at least 20 years of experience in the field, primarily practicing in a safety function. He works for a privately-held company and makes $75,000 per year.

Posted: January 13, 2017, 1:56 pm

Part 2 of 2 – EHS forecast for 2017

The bottom line question entering 2017 – and every year – is what do resource allocations look like for EHS departments?

Posted: January 13, 2017, 1:50 pm
Part 1 - Who is today’s EHS professional? Entering 2017, your typical EHS pro is a 53-year-old male, a baby boomer, with at least 20 years of experience in the field, primarily practicing in a safety function. He works for a privately-held company and makes $75,000 per year. In smaller firms, he reports to the CEO or owner. In larger organizations, safety reports to operations and human resources most frequently.
Posted: January 12, 2017, 5:00 am
ACGIH® is pleased to announce new members for its 2017 Board of Directors and its 2017 Nominating Committee. In accordance with a 2013 amendment to the ACGIH® Bylaws, ACGIH®’s membership elected three (3) members to serve as Directors on the Board of Directors. They are:
Posted: November 24, 2016, 5:00 am

How to grow the next generation of occupational safety and health (OSH) professionals was the focus of a recent stakeholder meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH) in which the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) was a key participant.

Posted: November 21, 2016, 5:00 pm
The American Industrial Hygiene Foundation (AIHF) is adding personnel to help it with its mission to advance the industrial hygiene profession by awarding scholarships to IH students and those in related disciplines.
Posted: November 14, 2016, 5:00 am
The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) is seeking nominations for its highly coveted Fellow Award, which will be presented at the 2017 American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition (AIHce), held June 4-7 in Seattle, WA.
Posted: October 21, 2016, 4:00 pm
Today, the American Industrial Hygiene Association® (AIHA) announced that its board of directors has appointed Lawrence "Larry" D. Sloan, CAE as the new CEO, effective October 17, 2016 to lead the largest national association dedicated to protecting worker health.
Posted: August 17, 2016, 4:00 pm
Two prominent members of the American Society of Safety Engineers were appointed to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Board of Scientific Counselors, a federal advisory committee formed to give the NIOSH director advice and guidance.
Posted: August 1, 2016, 4:00 pm

Best Practices

Dan Markiewicz's 30+ years of experience applies best practices to emerging safety and health issues.

With #womensmarch and #metoo bookending 2017, many U.S. employers are likely to establish new policies and procedures in 2018 to better manage workplace sexism. How does this practice impact occupational health and safety?
Posted: February 20, 2018, 5:00 am

OSHA has cut deals with employers and industry associations ever since the agency’s beginning. About one-third of cited employers don’t take OSHA’s deal. They just correct and pay. Will more of this group deal with OSHA in the future?

Posted: December 1, 2017, 5:00 am

Lack of deep cleaning and other actions/inactions help unwanted guests in the room, such as bed-bugs and germs, to multiply and spread to bedding and even packed clothes.

Posted: November 26, 2017, 5:00 am

Your plan must be based on your organization's vision for future safety performance. Frame it as a set of actions that will: Further a safety culture change from reactive to proactive, provide the functioning capability to lead the change, and provide governance requirements to sustain the change.

Posted: October 17, 2017, 4:00 am

There's a great imbalance between the two inseparable forces of safety and health. This imbalance is evident in Table I. The CSP® and the CIH® are the top safety and health credentials in our field. Both pre-date OSHA, and both have grown in quality and value over the years.

Posted: October 13, 2017, 4:00 am

Old pros were trapped in a prescriptive career- the OSHA regulation says this, now do it. Doing it took nearly all of the pro's time. There was little time for best practices. The old pros did, however, build great foundations upon which young pros may leap from compliance practices to conformance objectives.

Posted: September 12, 2017, 4:00 am

My job was on the line. Within minutes after the CEO chewed my ear, I arranged a confidential meeting with the operating company president. I briefed him on the situation, described changes that must occur, and I promised to protect his plant management the best I could.

Posted: August 29, 2017, 4:00 am

To sell something, you often ease the customer into a buying mood. The following will help you convince management to adopt NIOSH’s 2013 Recommended Weight Limits.

Posted: July 30, 2017, 4:00 am

You want to see the OHS profession grow, right?  One way is to increase your engagements with current topics. Let’s explore how this works.

Posted: June 1, 2017, 4:00 am

I approached a couple of employees, and asked if one of them would volunteer to wear an air sampling pump. One employee, "If you tell me who you voted for president, I might wear the pump." I knew at that point that I'd get some honest results from industrial hygiene (IH) sampling.

Posted: May 1, 2017, 4:00 am

Social nocebo1 is a contagious illness that impacts upwards of one-quarter of people who encounter it. Conditions are ripe for a rise of social nocebo in the workplace. The following are key actions that occupational safety and health pros must take to anticipate, recognize, evaluate and control social nocebo.

Posted: April 28, 2017, 6:00 pm

Ivanka Trump’s upcoming (May 2017) book, “Women who work: Rewriting the Rules for Success” contains an unwritten message for the demographic mean 53-year-old male OSH pro: “you need to change with the times.”

Posted: March 1, 2017, 5:00 am

Compliance bias is the belief that U.S. government mandates such as OSHA regulations are sufficient for most organizations to achieve injury and illness prevention objectives. This bias is outdated and dead wrong.

Posted: February 8, 2017, 5:00 pm

Compliance bias is the belief that U.S. government mandates such as OSHA regulations are sufficient for most organizations to achieve injury and illness prevention objectives. This bias is outdated and dead wrong.

Posted: February 1, 2017, 5:00 am

2017 will be a particularly challenging year for occupational safety and health program improvement.

Posted: December 7, 2016, 3:00 pm

2017 will be a particularly challenging year for occupational safety and health program improvement.

Posted: December 1, 2016, 5:00 am
Occupational safety and health pros can participate in these trends while enhancing their safety and health skills.
Posted: October 1, 2016, 4:00 am
The EPA established a final rule on June 13, 2016 (effective compliance date January 1, 2018) to revise reporting requirements under section 311 and 312 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.1
Posted: September 1, 2016, 4:00 am
The following is an overview and summary on how these rules (41 CFR Part 60-20) impact safety and health among the Federal government contractor workforce.
Posted: August 2, 2016, 4:00 am

Passed Congress this spring and awaiting President Obama’s signature, the Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act1 modernizes the 40-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that was the cornerstone of chemical management in the United States

Posted: July 13, 2016, 4:00 pm

Passed Congress this spring and awaiting President Obama’s signature, the Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act1 modernizes the 40-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that was the cornerstone of chemical management in the United States

Posted: July 1, 2016, 4:00 am
Newsflash: None of us are getting out of this world alive. It is just a matter of how and when we die. Can you decipher the medical shorthand below?
Posted: June 1, 2016, 4:00 am
Technology and ingenuity have advanced today where reasonable accommodations may allow almost any worker to be productive and safe while performing almost any job.
Posted: May 3, 2016, 4:00 am

The United Nations Human Rights Council will release a report in June, 2016 to dispel the “myth” that U.S. women enjoy rights and protections under law consistent with international standards

Posted: April 1, 2016, 4:00 am
The jobs in Table S-4 (OSHA 1910.332) face a higher than normal risk of electrical accident if exposed to circuits that operate at 50 volts or more to ground.
Posted: March 1, 2016, 5:00 am
Business hates HR – human resources.
Posted: February 3, 2016, 5:00 am

In 2012, 58 million Americans sought an attorney.1 The median starting salary for new lawyers in 2012 was $61,000 and many new lawyers carry student-loan debts of $125,000.2

Posted: January 5, 2016, 5:00 am

March 2015 research from the Association of American Medical Colleges confirms that the projected physician shortage is “real and significant.”1 The AAMC projects a shortage between 46,000-90,000 physicians by 2025.

Posted: November 29, 2015, 5:00 am

March 2015 research from the Association of American Medical Colleges confirms that the projected physician shortage is “real and significant.”1 The AAMC projects a shortage between 46,000-90,000 physicians by 2025.

Posted: November 3, 2015, 5:00 am

Leirah Jordan, a senior at St. Ursula Academy in Toledo, is considering a career in industrial hygiene and she asked to shadow or meet with me to learn about IH from a seasoned professional.

Posted: October 1, 2015, 4:00 am

Electrical Safety

Electrical standards compliance, electrical safety tips, electrical safety trends.

A company with a troubled track record on safety experienced a workplace fatality last week, when an employee died in an apparent electrocution. The Feb. 15 early morning incident at Carbide Industries in Louisville, Kentucky claimed the life of 38-year-old Patrick Childers, according to news reports.
Posted: February 20, 2018, 3:00 pm
Safety professionals, “electrical safety ambassadors” and would-be electrical workers may want to tune into a Twitter Chat next week hosted by the Electrical Safety Foundation International’s (ESFI) Communications Committee.
Posted: February 16, 2018, 5:00 pm
A Minnesota energy company says it will contest the $21,000 in fines leveled against it by the state’s OSHA for an incident at the company’s Becker power plant that left three workers with severe burns over large portions of their bodies.
Posted: February 14, 2018, 5:00 am
For over a decade, thousands of users have deployed Permanent Electrical Safety Devices (PESDs) to reduce the risks in isolating electrical energy. This elegantly simple innovation increases the probability that workers are only exposed to ‘zero voltage’ when doing an absence of voltage test. The cumulative experience end users have amassed by using PESDs encouraged UL to create a new product specification for permanently mounted Absence of Voltage Testers (AVTs).
Posted: January 11, 2018, 5:00 am
From arc flash accidents to electric shock hazards in pools and marinas, here are the top electrical safety stories from 2017 that were featured on ISHN.com.
Posted: December 27, 2017, 5:00 am
An arc flash at the Panda Power station in south Sherman, Texas, sent one employee to the hospital. Sherman Fire says It happened around 7:30 a.m. at 510 Progress Drive in Sherman. The Panda Sherman Power Project is a clean natural gas-fueled, 758-megawatt combined-cycle generating facility. The plant can supply the power needs of up to 750,000 homes.
Posted: December 12, 2017, 5:00 pm
Zach Spicer, a substation supervisor for DES, Dickson County, Tenn., suffered second-degree burns to his face and neck and third-degree burns Aug. 25 afternoon on his hands and forearm at the DES Old White Bluff Substation just as he prepared to teach a class. He was accessing a breaker cabinet, high voltage side when contact or an arc formed, causing an electrical fault that released heat and energy.
Posted: December 12, 2017, 3:00 pm
The US Department of Labor estimates that every day in the United States five to ten Arc Flash Explosions occur on the job. Arc Flashes are incredibly violent and devastating to any worker exposed to the instantaneous phenomenon. Most of the time the exposure will result in serious injury or even death. Electrical equipment is designed to withstand up to a certain amount of current.
Posted: December 12, 2017, 5:00 am
Electrical contractors are responsible for the health and safety of employees who are exposed to a variety of hazards. Some of these hazards are obvious, such as electrical shock and electrocution. Others, such as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), back injuries, slips and falls, or automobile-related incidents may not be as obvious.
Posted: December 12, 2017, 5:00 am
Five to 10 arc flash explosions occur in electric equipment every day in the United States, according to a presentation by Eddie F. Jones, Square D / Schneider Electric, and Progress Energy. This number does not include cases in which the victim is sent to an ordinary hospital. Instead, these incidents are so severe the victims require treatment from a special burn center.
Posted: December 12, 2017, 5:00 am
An arc flash occurs during a fault, or short circuit condition, which passes through this arc gap. The arc flash can be initiated through accidental contact, equipment which is underrated for the available short circuit current, contamination or tracking over insulated surfaces, deterioration or corrosion of equipment and, or parts, as well as other causes.
Posted: December 12, 2017, 5:00 am
According to CAGR market research released in December, 2017, one trend in the market is multiple functionalities of arc flash protection equipment. The latest trend in the market is safety equipment with multiple functionalities, i.e., apparel and safety equipment that are not only used for protection against arc flashes but other hazards as well. Vendors offer arc flash protection equipment with a combination of high visibility and flame-resistant (FR) capabilities, providing protection against multi-hazards.
Posted: December 11, 2017, 5:00 am
Severe weather happens year-round. Tornadoes, hurricanes and other storms can seriously damage power lines and other electrical equipment. Storm damage causes dangers that lurk after a storm has passed. Safe Electricity encourages you to be aware of and prepared for those dangers.
Posted: September 18, 2017, 4:00 am
More than 7.1 million customers were without power across Florida and in parts of Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina as a result of Hurricane Irma. As the storm moved through the region, companies were able to address more than 1.25 million outages, due largely to recent investments in energy grid technology and automation.
Posted: September 18, 2017, 4:00 am

Eager to get to that project you’ve been planning – the one that will require you to use power tools? In addition to the obvious hazards (saws cut off about 4,000 fingers in the U.S. each year, for instance), there are electrical hazards that you may not be thinking about – but you should be.

Posted: August 9, 2017, 4:00 am
Industrial work is somewhat known for its risk for injury. However, it's still not something people often think about when actually doing the work that risks so much injury in such a substantial way. There are various ways injuries can happen when doing industrial work.
Posted: August 3, 2017, 4:00 am
A contractor for a Michigan utility company died Wednesday after being electrocuted during what was apparently a routine pole change procedure.
Posted: July 21, 2017, 2:00 pm
With summer in full swing, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) are joining forces to remind people about the potential electrical hazards in swimming pools, hot tubs and spas, on board boats and in the waters surrounding boats, marinas and launch ramps.
Posted: July 14, 2017, 2:00 pm
An arc flash at the Panda Power station in south Sherman, Texas, sent one employee to the hospital. An employee was de-energizing on a breaker when an arc flash occurred. The accident happened around 7:30 a.m.
Posted: June 9, 2017, 8:00 pm
Two people were injured in an industrial accident at Offutt Airforce Base near Bellevue, Nebraska. The injured were working on an electrical circuit around 2:30 p.m. when the accident occurred.
Posted: June 9, 2017, 7:00 pm
A journeyman electrician and an electrical helper were at a worksite to install a new three-phase run of wire between an existing energized 480-volt circuit breaker panel and a new piece of machinery. During the process, the journeyman electrician attempted to install a missing bolt from a breaker mount on an energized 480-volt bus bar.
Posted: June 9, 2017, 4:00 am
Arc flash generally refers to the dangerous exposure to thermal energy released by an arcing fault on an electrical power system. In recent years, arc flash hazards have become a prominent safety issue in many industries.
Posted: June 9, 2017, 4:00 am
Did you know the International Organization for Standardization’s (ISO) adopted a new symbol meaning “to warn of an arc flash”? Many workers die each year as a result of arc flash explosion accidents – and most are killed because they failed to wear proper PPE.
Posted: June 9, 2017, 4:00 am
It is estimated that 5 to 10 arc flash explosions occur in electric equipment every day in the United States. In the mining industry the largest single injury category of electrical injuries are caused by non-contact electrical arcs.
Posted: June 9, 2017, 4:00 am
In the first case study, an electrician was working on a circuit breaker panel that he thought was deenergized. After completing the work, the electrician was closing one of the enclosure doors when an arc flash occurred.
Posted: June 9, 2017, 4:00 am
Electricity can cause two types of burns: electrical burns from direct contact with current and thermal burns from arc flashes and blasts. An arc flash occurs when powerful, high-amperage currents travel, or arc, through the air. This can occur when high voltage differences exist across a gap between conductors.
Posted: June 9, 2017, 4:00 am
An electric arc flash injured a worker at a power generating facility. When the arc flash occurred, a 48-year-old electrician was working on an electrical cabinet that was still powered. The wiring contractor employee suffered second and third-degree burns to his hands, arms and torso.
Posted: June 9, 2017, 4:00 am
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission undertook a special inspection at Florida Power & Light’s Turkey Point nuclear power plant to assess the failure of a safety-related electrical bus that resulted in the plant declaring an alert.
Posted: June 9, 2017, 4:00 am
In general, the employer must: Assess the workplace to identify employees exposed to hazards from flames or from electric arcs; Make reasonable estimates of the incident heat energy of any electric-arc hazard to which an employee would be exposed;
Posted: June 9, 2017, 4:00 am
Just in time for National Electrical Safety Month – May -- the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is launching its annual effort to help reduce electrically-related fatalities, injuries, and property loss. This year’s campaign theme is "Decoding the National Electrical Code® (NEC) to Prevent Shock and Electrocution," which features resources to help protect against common electrical hazards.
Posted: April 24, 2017, 4:00 am