Tuesday, May 23, 2017
With summer fast approaching, the North Carolina Dept. of Labor is offering a series of free 90-minute webinars on the hazards of heat stress in construction and general industry. Topics to be discussed include key definitions, causal factors, heat disorders, health effects, prevention, control, engineering controls, personal protective equipment, administrative controls, acclimatization, re-acclimating, work monitoring and training. At the end of the course, students should have a basic understanding of methods to prevent or minimize exposure to excessive heat in order to prevent heat stress. In addition, students will be able to recognize symptoms of heat stress along with tips on how to treat heat stress victims. The first webinar will be held on May 22, and six additional webinars are set for May and June. For more information or to register, see the webpage.
Falls are the leading cause of death for construction workers, accounting for 350 of the 937 construction fatalities recorded in 2015. These and other facts about fall hazards are highlighted in new resources from OSHA that employers can use in their discussions with employees during the National Safety Stand-Down. Two videos have been posted on the Stand-Down homepage and a series of infographics can be downloaded from OSHA's Fall Prevention Campaign webpage. We also encourage posting of the new videos and infographics on social media using the hashtag #StandDown4Safety.
Friday, April 21, 2017
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has established a web-based injury and exposure monitoring system available at no cost to healthcare facilities. This secure system enables participating facilities to analyze worker injury and exposure data that they already collect. Trends for traumatic injury and hazardous exposures are visualized using a chart function. The system allows facilities to track five common work-related injuries and exposures in healthcare: sharps injuries; blood and body fluid exposure; slips, trips, and falls; patient handling injuries; and workplace violence. Visit the OHSN webpage for more information and to begin the enrollment process.
Recordings of two recent training seminars are available to watch online. One is a symposium on ladder safety hosted by the OSHA Education Center at the University of Texas, Arlington. The other is a webinar on "Communicating with Workers about Hazardous Materials" hosted by the American Staffing Association as part of its alliance with OSHA.
OSHA has released three guidance documents to help employers comply with the agency's Process Safety Management standard. PSM is critically important to facilities that store highly hazardous chemicals. Implementing the required safety programs helps prevent fires, explosions, large chemical spills, toxic gas releases, runaway chemical reactions, and other major incidents. The new documents focus on PSM compliance for Small Businesses, Storage Facilities and Explosives and Pyrotechnics Manufacturing.
OSHA has announced a delay in the effective date of the Occupational Exposure to Beryllium rule, from March 21 to May 20, to allow for further review and consideration. The extension is in keeping with a Jan. 20 White House memorandum that directed the review of any new or pending regulations. This does not affect the compliance dates of the beryllium rule. For more information, see the news release.
As road construction projects ramp up this spring, the Federal Highway Administration is partnering with OSHA, the American Traffic Safety Services Association, and other groups to encourage safe driving in work zones. The campaign, called National Work Zone Awareness Week, is an annual event set for April 3-7 this year. Tragically, 700 people, including 130 workers, were killed in crashes at roadway worksites in 2015. Many states and localities across the country will hold events to bring attention to these hazards and encourage safe driving around work zones.
A national kick-off event is planned for April 4, at 10:30 a.m., at the Maryland state Randolph Road/Georgia Avenue Interchange Project. In addition, the Georgia Struck-By Alliance, which includes OSHA, will hold stand-downs at highway construction locations throughout Georgia this week to train workers on the dangers of distracted drivers and flying debris. For more information on the Georgia events, see the news release.
Monday, March 20, 2017
As residents in Kansas and Missouri recover from the damage caused by recent tornadoes and severe storms, OSHA urges caution during cleanup and recovery efforts. Workers, employers and the public should be aware of hazards they may encounter, and steps needed to stay safe and healthy. "Recovery work should not put you in the recovery room," said Karena Lorek, OSHA's area director in Kansas City. "Our main concern is the safety and health of the workers and volunteers conducting cleanup activities." OSHA representatives are available in hard-hit areas to communicate with emergency responders, provide advice and distribute educational resources to assist in a safe clean-up of damage. For more information, see the news release.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has developed a new, free mobile application for iOS devices that measures sound levels in workplaces. The NIOSH Sound Level Meter app displays real-time noise exposure data based on NIOSH and OSHA limits. The easy-to-use app can be particularly helpful to occupational safety and health trainers as they teach construction apprentices about noise hazards and the need for hearing protection. Visit the app webpage for more information.
OSHA's $afety Pays Program shows employers how workplace injuries and illnesses impact their bottom line
OSHA has updated the $afety Pays Program to include the most recent workers' compensation data from the National Council on Compensation Insurance. The program helps employers understand the impact of workplace injuries and illnesses on their company's profitability. OSHA provides many resources to help employers develop an effective safety and health program to improve safety and reduce costs. Benefits include reduced absenteeism, lower turnover and workers' compensation costs, higher productivity and increased morale.