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December 27, 2017

Top 10 Workplace Safety Articles of 2017

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These 10 occupational health and safety articles from our Connection newsletters generated a lot of interest in 2017. We do our best to keep you up-to-date on new rules, tools and tips that can help keep your workplace safe and in compliance. All these posts are worth a second look as you plan for a safe workplace in 2018.

1. Top 10 OSHA Violations of 2017

Once again, Fall Protection tops OSHA's preliminary list of most-often-cited safety violations in 2017, followed by Hazard Communication and Scaffolding. The Top 10 list has been quite consistent in recent years, but Fall Protection Training slid into the #9 spot this year, bumping Electrical, General Requirements off the list.
See the Top 10 List here.

2. What to Include in Your Annual Safety Inspection Checklist

OSHA increased its maximum fines for employer safety violations last year for the first time in 25 years. The cap for serious, other-than-serious, and posting requirement as well as "failure-to-abate" violations rose from $7,000 to $12,471 per violation. Even more reason to maintain workplace safety standards. Here's a review of some key areas you should be sure to include in your annual safety inspection checklist.
Read more.

3. New State/Federal Labor Law Posters for 2018

December 21, 2017

BLS: 2016 Workplace Fatalities Top 5,000 - Highest Since 2008

Graph showing occupational fatalitiesA total of 5,190 fatal work injuries were recorded in the US in 2016, a 7-percent increase from the 4,836 reported in 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this week. This is the third consecutive increase in annual workplace fatalities and the first time more than 5,000 fatalities have been recorded by the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) since 2008. The fatal injury rate increased to 3.6 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers from 3.4 in 2015, the highest rate since 2010. Some 36 states had more fatal workplace injuries in 2016 than 2015.

Transportation Incidents Most Common

Work injuries involving transportation incidents remained the most common fatal event in 2016, accounting for 40 percent (2,083). Violence and other injuries by persons or animals increased 23 percent to become the second-most common fatal event in 2016. Two other events with large changes were exposure to harmful substances or environments, which rose 22 percent, and fires and explosions, which declined 27 percent.

December 19, 2017

Prevent Computer Vision Syndrome in the Workplace

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A recent article in the Health and Safety Report of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Safety and Health addresses a common workplace health problem that goes largely unnoticed - computer vision syndrome.

Many workers spend 7 or more hours a day using computers and, according to a State University of New York Study, many individuals spend more than 10 hours per day viewing electronic displays, frequently without adequate breaks. And the more they focus their eyes on computers and electronic devices, the more strain their eyes endure.

The terms computer vision syndrome (CVS) and digital eye strain were coined to describe vision problems related to working on and using items with electronic displays, such as computers, smartphones e-readers and similar devices. CVS includes eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes and neck and shoulder pain.

Here are some tips for preventing or reducing the symptoms of computer vision syndrome:

December 11, 2017

NIOSH Shares Advice for Holiday Driving - On and Off the Job

Along with celebrations, the holidays bring increased vehicle traffic. Workers who drive as part of their job may share the roads with fatigued or impaired travelers, and in dangerous weather conditions. Many workers are themselves holiday travelers, and some may be driving a company vehicle approved for personal use.
Every winter NIOSH shares ways that employers can keep their workers safe while working in cold weather conditions. Use the following tips for on- and off-the-job driving: 
  • Give workers information about: road construction/closures, bad road conditions, and other driving dangers.

December 5, 2017

FMCSA Promises Electronic Log Device Guidance Before Dec. 18 Deadline

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) says it will provide guidance intended to ease the transition to electronic logging devices before the Dec. 18 implementation date.

The guidance will include a 90-day temporary waiver from the ELD requirement for transporters of agricultural commodities, formal guidance specifically addressing the existing Hours-of-Service exemption for the agricultural industry and guidance on the “personal conveyance” provision. FMCSA says it will also provide guidance on the existing 150 air miles hours-of-service exemption. The guidance is designed to allow transport companies to make the most of the exemption.

From July to November, FMCSA conducted a public education and outreach campaign about ELD implementation. The effort included driver presentations and panel discussions. The original final rule requiring ELDs was published in December, 2015.