U.S. Workers Ask For Workplace Violence Prevention Preparation

Due to this year’s past high profile public and workplace shootings throughout the U.S., the FBI Academy Alumni Association, received high interest in a shooting response program held in Boston last week.

The workshop, “Active Shooter Preparation and Response” was held by the group and resulted in a turnout of about 300 attendees.

The local citizens group’s main goal is to raise awareness about workplace violence and shootings and prod employers and landlords to take preventative action in case of an emergency.

“Workplace homicides are still relatively rare, but general workforce violence is not uncommon, and there’s evidence of an increase in violent crime in general,” said Randy Spivey, chief executive of the Center for Personal Protection and Safety, a firm in Spokane, Wash., that develops workplace violence-prevention programs for companies.

While a workplace incident like a shooting spree is still relatively rare, the unfortunate past events shows that is highly important for all employers to be aware of the best strategy for a company to use in case of an emergency.

To view the original article, visit http://www.masslive.com/business-news/index.ssf/2012/11/companies_focus_on_preventing_workplace.html.

If you would like more information about Workplace Violence Prevention, visit https://www.safetylinks.net/index.php/training/safety-management-courses/violence-prevention.

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Nominations for OSHA’s Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health Are Seeked

OSHA has recently announced that they are now accepting nominations for eight new members to serve on the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health.

Groups in which the nominees are interested in representing can be an employee, employer, public, and state and health agency. All members serve for two years except for the representative designated by the Department of Health and Human Services and appointed by the Secretary of Labor.

If you’d like to submit a nomination, visit www.regulations.gov where you can also view the Federal Register notice for additional details.. You can also submit by mail or fax. The deadline is January 7.

To view the press release, visit http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=23241.


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What Four More Years of Obama Means To OSHA

According to Aaron Trippler, director of government affairs for the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the president’s re-election is unlikely to result in any drastic changes for OSHA.

Some of the things believed OSHA will keep focusing on are the Injury and Illness Prevention Program (I2P2) and possibly finally updating permissible exposure limits (PEL’s). On another note, Trippler also believes that OSHA will likely focus their funds on enforcement and the impact it has shown, and the relationship between federal OSHA and state plans, since 50 percent of their budget is received from them.

To read the article, visit http://ehstoday.com/osha/how-will-obama-s-re-election-impact-occupational-safety-and-health?page=1.

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OSHA’s Advisory Committee On Construction Safety and Health To Meet in Nov.

The Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH) has a meeting scheduled by OSHA on November 27-30 in Washington, DC. It will consist of meetings divided in Work Groups and a full committee at different times. ACCSH Work Groups will meet Nov. 27-28 and the full committee on Nov. 29-30.

The ACCSH works as an advisor to the Secretary of Labor and Assistant Secretary of Labor of OSHA. The full committee agenda will include Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor and updates from the Directorate of Construction. The Work Group meetings will include the topics: Health hazards, emerging issues, prevention through design, training and outreach, and injurly and illness prevention programs.

To submit any comments or requests, visit their Federal e-Rulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. You can also submit by mail or fax.  All comments and requests must be submitted by Nov. 16, 2012.


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CPSC Urges Consumers to Change Batteries in Alarms This Weekend When Changing Clocks for Daylight Saving Time

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is encouraging consumers to change the batteries in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms this weekend.

“When changing clocks this weekend for Daylight Saving Time, remember to change the batteries in smoke and CO alarms,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “Fresh batteries in alarms are essential to keeping your alarm working and on guard to protect you and your family.”

Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, November 4, 2012.

About two-thirds of fire deaths occur in homes with either no smoke alarms or smoke alarms that don’t work. CPSC also recommends that consumers test their alarms once each month and place smoke alarms on every level of the home, outside sleeping areas, and inside each bedroom.

Fire departments responded to more than 366,700 residential fires nationwide that resulted in more than 2,300 deaths, more than 12,500 injuries, and $7.09 billion in property losses annually, on average, from 2008 through 2010.

CO alarms are equally important and should be installed on each level of the home and outside sleeping areas. CO alarms should not be installed in attics or basements unless they include a sleeping area. Combination smoke and CO alarms are available.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, poisonous gas that consumers cannot see or smell. There was an average of 183 unintentional, non-fire CO poisoning deaths each year from 2006 to 2008. To protect against CO poisoning, schedule an annual professional inspection of all fuel-burning appliances, including furnaces and chimneys. Keep portable generators outside, far from the home when they are being used.


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Four Workers Are Found Dead After Garage Collapse in Florida

Four workers who were working on a five-story parking garage in Doral, Fla. were found dead after the building collapsed on Oct. 10. The fourth fatally injured worker was found on Oct. 16.

Media reports have stated – without certainty of whether it was the root of the accident or not – that a crane struck the garage a few days prior to the collapse.

The President and CEO of Ajax Building Corp. along with the project’s contractor have pledged to find the cause of the tragedy.

“When the investigative process commences, we want to work alongside OSHA’s investigators to secure the site and make it safe,” William Byrne, president of Ajax Building Corp. said in an Oct. 12 statement. He stressed that Ajax Building Corp. has 54 years of experience and maintains “core values based on quality, safety and family.”

To read the full story, visit EHS Today.

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OSHA-NIOSH Nail Gun Guide Now Available in Spanish

Nail Gun Image


A popular OSHA-NIOSH PDF document titled Nail Gun Safety – A Guide for Construction Contractors is now also available in Spanish.

The document was originally created to help prevent work-related nail gun injuries that make up about 37,000 emergency room visits every year. The Spanish version will help increase awareness to a broader audience of the Spanish-speaking work force.

Important topics include unintended nail discharge, nails that bounce off a hard surface, and disabling the gun’s safety features.

To view the document in English, visit http://www.osha.gov/Publications/NailgunFinal_508_02_optimized.pdf.

To view the document in Spanish, visit http://www.osha.gov/Publications/NailGun3505_sp.pdf.


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Interactive Heat Fatalities Map & App by OSHA Help As Safety Reminder

Sun Image

Sun ImageWhile many parts of the country have felt the change of seasons already, Florida is not-surprisingly one that lags behind. For those of us in the sunshine state, working outside consists of high humidity and temperature levels until almost the end of the year.

If your job consists of outdoor work, however, it is very important to stay cool and hydrated at all times. As part of their Heat Illness Prevention Campaign, OSHA has now included a Heat Fatalities Map. The map shows examples of heat-related fatalities in the U.S. from 2009 to 2012. For each fatality, basic information about the type of workplace, work task, and work conditions is provided if available.

Another way to actively ensure heat-stress safety for you and all your employees, you can now download OSHA’s Heat Safety Tool App. This mobile app helps measure head index for your work site, displays risk levels, and provides protective measures for everyone at risk to follow.

To order any of OSHA’s materials that are part of this campaign, visit the website at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/index.html, call OSHA’s Office of Communications at (202) 693-1999 or visit OSHA’s Publications page.

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Nail Salon Safety Supported by OSHA

Nail Salon

Nail SalonSecretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis promoted nail salon safety at OSHA Harwood grantee event on September 27 with Vietnamese nail salon workers and local community leaders in Falls Church, VA.

The OSHA Susan Harwood grantee Boat People SOS hosted the event. They are a national organization that provides assistance to workers for the Vietnamese-American community on workplace safety and workers’ rights.

For workers in the industry, there is a webpage by OSHA on nail salon safety with different resources including a guide called “Stay Healthy and Safe While Giving Manicures and Pedicures: A Guide for Nail Salon Workers” which is sectioned in three parts: chemicals, ergonomics, and biological hazards. You can view the document in both, English and Vietnamese.

For the English version, visit, http://www.osha.gov/Publications/3542nail-salon-workers-guide.pdf

For the Vietnamese version, visit, http://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3558_vietnamese.pdf

To order a free copy of the PDF File, call the Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 or visit OSHA’s Publications page.

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Entering the Department of Labor’s Worker Safety and Health Challenge?

The Department of Labor has created a Workplace Safety and Health Challenge, a competition to develop tools that can help workers recognize and prevent workplace safety and health hazards. Everyone with some technology interest, including students, is encouraged to participate.

The deadline for submissions is November 30.

Successful entries could take many different forms:

  • Interactive and informative games, social or professional networking sites; or
  • Data visualization tools that teach young people about safety and health hazards.

All submissions can be designed for any of the following formats: internet browsers, smartphones, feature phones, social media platforms, or as native Windows or Macintosh applications.

There will be a panel of judges that will include Secretary Solis, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, co-hosts of the popular Discovery Channel show “Myth Busters”.

The awards will be given in different categories:

  1. “Safety in the Workplace Innovator Award” of $15,000
  2. “Safety and Health Data Award” of $6,000
  3. “Workers’ Rights Award” of $6,000
  4. “People’s Choice Award” of $3,000 for the developer of the app that receives the most public votes on the website.

For more information on entering, watch a short video on YouTube, visit the challenge page, and read Dr. Michaels’ blog.

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