A Source for Workplace Safety News and Notes - from ®

December 17, 2014

Workplace Safety News and Notes - December 2014

Here's a roundup of current workplace safety news and links:

New NIOSH Training Helps Reduce Risks for Emergency Responders Who Work Long Hours

NIOSH’s new interim training program is for emergency workers who deploy to disaster sites caused by weather, earthquakes, and other catastrophic events like Ebola. The 30-minute online training is for workers and managers to help them better cope with the demands of these emergency operations. Emergency responders in healthcare, public safety, utilities, construction, humanitarian aid, and clean-up services can learn strategies to reduce risks that are linked to working long hours. Learn more or take the training here.

New Report Can Help Prevent Trucking Industry Injuries

Caution 3-point contactA report produced by Washington State’s Trucking Injury Reduction Emphasis Through Surveillance program provides in-depth information on trucking injuries from 2006-2012. Using Washington State workers’ compensation data grouped by industry sector, the report details the most frequent injury type, source and cost. It also includes worker training tips useful for trucking firms and occupational health pros. Check out the report and other resources at

Recommendations to Reduce Silica Exposure When Maintaining Dirt Roads

Road maintenance crew overexposures to respirable crystalline silica led HHE Program investigators to recommend ways to minimize dust exposure during dust-generating activities. They recommended wetting the soil prior to work, scheduling dust-generating tasks on days when the soil is moist, and regularly maintaining air filters in the equipment.
A link to this final report is available at here

Warning BiohazardNIOSH Offers Health Hazard Evaluation Info for Employers and Employees

Two new booklets designed to inform employers or employees about the Health Hazard Evaluation process, including what a Health Hazard Evaluation is, how and who can request one, and what happens once the request is made. The Employer booklet is here, and the Employee booklet is here.

U.S. Workplace Injuries Declined to 3 Million in 2013 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that non-fatal workplace injuries declined significantly in 2013, and that the DART rate declined for the first time since 2009. Slightly more than 3 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses were reported by U.S. private industry in 2013, for an incidence rate of 3.3 cases per 100 full-time workers. Read key findings from the survey here.

Significant OSHA Fines Total Just $875,000 in November 2014 

Fall protection requiredOSHA announced just four significant fines in November with a proposed total of $875,010 (compared to 10 fines totaling $1.77 million in October). The largest fine was $342,250 for repeat fall and equipment violations at a Georgia auto parts plant. Common fines included fall and electrical hazards at a variety of locations. See the full list here.

New NIOSH Booklet Features Ergonomic Solutions for Retailers

Back support required in this areaNIOSH has published a new document detailing how devices such as conveyors and hand carts can help with the "heavy lifting" to reduce soft tissue injuries. The report illustrates use of various mechanical assist devices to reduce material handling injuries in retail grocery work. Although geared toward the grocery sector, the principles outlined in the booklet have broader applications throughout retail. Since 60% of injuries and lost work in select retail businesses are attributed to material handling injuries, this is good information for a variety of workplaces. Learn more here.

New App Targets Workplace Stress

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety worked with the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers to develop a free smart phone app that lets users measure stress level by taking a survey. A results page scores each item compared to a reference population to compare the user's score. If a score is worse than the reference population, the app gives links to information on dealing with that particular factor. Learn more here.

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