A Source for Workplace Safety News and Notes - from ®

July 21, 2015

Use Vacuums to Reduce Potentially Fatal Danger in Dust at Construction Sites

Dust inhalation hazard
Dust can be a serious hazard on construction sites.
There are many reports on the dangers of silica dust, which can cause the deadly lung disease of silicosis. Now NIOSH (the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Healthy) has published a study on how to reduce exposure to this dangerous substance at construction sites, where silica hazards are quite common. Some of the materials that can release silica when cut, ground or shaped include:
  • Fiber-Cement Siding*
  • Bricks*
  • Mortar*
  • Concrete*

Fortunately, workers needn’t be defenseless against this growing hazard. NIOSH scientists found that vacuum cleaners can be a valuable, low-cost tool for minimizing crystalline silica inhalation.* This can be done by connecting a vacuum to a compatible circular saw, enabling the paired devices to collect much of the dust that would typically scatter on jobsites.*

July 7, 2015

New Tool Analyzes Workplace Cell Phone Policies

The National Safety Council recently launched a Cell Phone Policy Assessment Tool that provides instant feedback on an employer's cell phone policy. Employers complete a short survey, and the tool generates a free report that rates how well the company's policy matches current best practices.

Many employers have implemented cell phone policies to help keep workers safe on the road, but policies often leave safety gaps that can increase an employer's liability risk in the event of a crash.

The Cell Phone Policy Assessment Tool reveals gaps and their associated costs, and identifies specific suggestions to improve the policy. NSC recommends employers implement a best practice cell phone policy that covers:
  • Hand-held and hands-free devices
  • All employees
  • All company vehicles
  • All company cell phones
  • All work-related communications – even in a personal vehicle or on a personal cell phone.