FDOT Pedestrian Safety Campaign Starts

For our readers in Florida: Early this week, the FDOT kicked off their safety campaign, “Safety Doesn’t Happen by Accident” in Tampa, FL to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety awareness. You can encounter their efforts through TV, social media, different transit advertising, enforcement, and education. Since Monday, frequent “alerts” are posted on their Facebook page with useful tips and important facts and statistics for everyone to know.

“We started yesterday on this test campaign in Hillsborough County because this area is double the national average when it comes to pedestrian fatalities,” Kris Carson, FDOT spokesperson says. “We’re working with law enforcement and we are advertising trying to get people more aware of pedestrian safety. This campaign is all about education, so we handed out shirts to the public yesterday and we were out on Fletcher and Fowler Avenues writing citations to people not following proper safety guidelines.”

FDOT has a goal to reduce pedestrian fatalities by 20% by 2015; saving 15 lives per year. To do this, they have devised a multi-faceted solution that includes: engineering safer pedestrian walkways, educating pedestrians and motorists and enforcing laws more strictly.

Take a look at their campaign through their Facebook page HERE.

Don’t forget to visit us, as well and hit LIKE while you’re there! http://www.facebook.com/SafetyLinks

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OSHA provides resources on mercury exposure protection from fluorescent bulbs

Two educational documents recently released by OSHA will help protect workers from mercury exposure while crushing and recycling fluorescent bulbs. Compact fluorescent bulbs are more efficient than incandescent bulbs, but the shift to energy-saving fluorescents, which contain mercury.

The OSHA fact sheet* explains how workers may be exposed, what kinds of engineering controls and personal protective equipment they need, and how to use these controls and equipment properly.

The second, OSHA Quick Card, alerts employers and workers to the hazards of mercury and provides information on how to properly clean up accidentally broken fluorescent bulbs to minimize workers’ exposures to mercury.

Fluorescent bulbs can release mercury and may expose workers when they are broken accidentally or crushed as part of the routine disposal or recycling process. Depending on the duration and level of exposure, mercury can cause nervous system disorders such as tremors, kidney problems, and damage to unborn children.

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OSHA Still seeking nominations for members for National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health

July 25, 2012

Contact: Office of Communications

Phone: 202-693-1999

WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today announced that nominations are being accepted for four members to serve on the 12-member National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH).

NACOSH was established under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 to advise the Secretaries of Labor and Health and Human Services on matters relating to the administration of the Act.

Nominations will be accepted for one representative from each of the following categories: public; management; occupational safety; and occupational health. Members will serve a two-year term.

Nominations may be submitted electronically at www.regulations.gov, the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Submissions may also be sent by mail or facsimile. If submitting nominations by mail, hand delivery or messenger service, send three copies to the OSHA Docket Office, Room N-2625, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20210; telephone 202-693-2350. See the Federal Register notice for details. Nominations must be submitted by September 10, 2012.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov

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NIOSH Works With Latin America on PPE

NIOSH

Worker protection and educational support in Latin America, including workshops and meetings, have recently been provided by NIOSH’s National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) to the Institute of Public Health (ISP) from Chile. The main focus during these international arrangements has been on respirator protection and other occupational PPE to protect workers from the dangers of exposure to industrial chemical dusts, chemicals, and more.

NIOSH

Maryann D’Alessandro, Ph.D., director of the NIOSH Pittsburg-based laboratory explains, “these partnerships help promote international stability for U.S. business, continue the tradition of U.S. technological leadership globally and provide information that we can sue in turn to further worker health and safety in the U.S.”

Participants included representatives from the Ministry of Health and Labor, the International Labor Organization, multinational manufacturers of PPE, various academic bodies and industrial sectors such as construction and mining. Audits were also performed on respirator manufacturers in Colombia, Chile, and Brazil for maintenance of their NIOSH respirator certification status.

To view the original article from EHS Today, visit HERE.

To inquire about respirator training or fit testing, visit us at https://www.safetylinks.net/index.php/respirators or call us at 407-863-8165.

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The Federal Railroad Administration works with OSHA on whistleblower protection

Due to the number of whistleblower complaints in the railroad industry with a high percentage of retaliation allegations, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and OSHA have signed a memorandum agreement that will facilitate the coordination and cooperation of workers’ whistleblower rights.

From 2007 to 2012, more than 900 whistleblower complaints were reported by OSHA and almost 63 percent involved some sort of allegation of retaliation. Although the FRA has a broad authority over rail safety, it does not have direct authority to address whistleblower incidents. It is the Federal Railroad Safety Act’s (FRSA) whistleblower provision act that protects railroad employees from retaliation when they report safety violations, or work-related personal injuries or illness.

The memorandum established procedures to follow complaints any allegations. The FRA will refer railroad employees who complain of retaliation to OSHA. OSHA will then provide the FRA with the copies it receives under the FRSA’s whistleblower provision. In turn, both agencies will work together to assist FRA enforcement staff in recognizing complaints and assist OSHA enforcement staff in recognizing potential violations of railroad safety regulations found in investigations.

“This memorandum is a watershed moment for both railroads and labor alike,” said FRA Administrator Joseph Szabo. He continued, “Securing a process that protects employees who report safety violations is critical to maintaining safety standards in the workplace.”

For more information on FRSA and other industry whistleblower cases, visit http://www.whistleblowers.gov/wb_news_room.html.

 

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CET/CIT Integrated into BCSP Family of Certifications & Technologist Certifications Improved

CET/CIT
Updates straight from the BCSP newsletter…
The Certified Environmental, Safety and Health Trainer (CET) & Certified Instructional Technologist (CIT) certifications are swiftly becoming part of the BCSP family of certifications.CET/CIT Integrated into BCSP Family of Certifications Now Recognizable as BCSP Certifications

CET/CIT

The training certifications’ new logo is increasingly featured on BCSP materials, and the new CET/CIT process and applications, results of months of diligent preparation, can be found on BCSP’s CET/CIT webpage.

The process of fully integrating the CET/CIT is well underway. By the end of 2012, the certifications’ will be wholly operated by BCSP.

Inquiries related to the certification may be made through the CET/CIT Inquiry form.

Technologist Certifications Improved. CLCS Folded into Updated OHST

ohst

The Occupational Health and Safety Technologist® (OHST®) exam began following the most recent set of knowledge required of SH&E technologists this July 2, 2012.

The update, as announced last year, is the result of a validation study to determine the task, knowledge, and skills associated with the OHST practice.The OHST’s latest blueprint and reference materials are available on the OHST webpage.

As part of the OHST update, the Certified Loss Control Specialist® (CLCS®) certification is discontinued. CLCS certificants, and those in process of achieving CLCS certification, can contact Barbara Patterson, BCSP Manager of Customer Service, with questions.

Don’t forget to view our OHST Prep Course page for more information on our upcoming course that will be held on November 6-8. You can also sign up by calling us at 407-505-2803 or email at info@safetylinks.net.

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Evidence Suggests OSHA Inspections Benefit Organizations

Do you ever wonder how big of an impact OSHA inspections actually have on worker productivity loss or company profit? According to recent studies done in California, inspections can actually save a substantial amount of money to companies and organizations. More than many might believe.

The study, done by Michael Toffel, professor at Harvard Business School and David Levine, professor at Hass School of Business, and Matthew Johnson, doctoral student at Boston University, analyzed inspections conducted in highly hazardous industries in California and found that once done, they reduced injury claims by up to 9.2 percent. They also concluded it saved 26 percent on workers’ compensation costs in the four following years after the inspections were done. An estimated $355,000 was saved in injury claims and compensation for paid lost work.

Overall, there was no evidence showing these inspections led to a drop in sales or profit. These findings make a great example of how important implementing safety procedures, plans and culture in an organization can be highly beneficial in many aspects.

“The OSHA inspection itself affords employers an opportunity to recognize where their safety policies and programs aren’t fully effective and, in turn, encourages them to take action, whether that means dealing with a specific hazard noted in the workplace and eliminating or lowering it or changing the way you communicate and train employees,” Johnson says. “There are many ways employers can identify and understand the areas where they can improve safety, and OSHA is one of them.”

To read the original article, visit http://www.hreonline.com/HRE/story.jsp?storyId=533348983.

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OSHA seeks nominations for members to serve on Federal Advisory Council on Occupational Safety and Health

WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today announced that nominations are being accepted for six new members to serve on the 16-member Federal Advisory Council on Occupational Safety and Health (FACOSH).

FACOSH advises the Secretary of Labor on matters relating to the occupational safety and health of federal employees. This includes providing assistance to the Secretary and OSHA in an effort to reduce and keep to a minimum the number and severity of injuries and illnesses in the federal workforce. FACOSH also encourages each federal executive branch department and agency to establish and maintain effective occupational safety and health programs.

Nominations will be accepted for three federal agency management representatives and three labor organization representatives. Members will serve terms not to exceed three years.

Nominations may be submitted electronically at www.regulations.gov, the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Submissions may also be sent by mail or facsimile. See the Federal Register notice for details. Nominations must be submitted by September 4, 2012.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

To view the original OSHA press release, visit http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=22626

 

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Forty-Two Percent of Factory Workers Suffer From Hearing Loss

According to a research done by the University of Michigan School of Nursing, 42% of factory workers exposed to noise have hearing loss. The worst part, however, is that about 75% of them claimed having good hearing when asked. The study was done on 2,691 workers from the Midwest automobile factory.

In turn, what researchers concluded from this study is that “a need for development of reliable and valid self-report measures of hearing loss” was the key to better self-reporting hearing ability from workers.

Because specific sources of their hearing loss were not exactly determined—whether it was work-related, environmental, biological, etc.—they did mention a need for surveillance methods, safety policies, and programs to help evaluate the effectiveness of hearing conservation programs, identify health concerns, and prevent occupational hearing loss.

To view the original article, visit http://ehstoday.com/health/news/workers-fail-self-report-hearing-0702/.

For questions regarding occupational noise testing and safety implementation, call us at 407-505-2803 or visit https://www.safetylinks.net/index.php/industrial-hygiene/noise for more information.

 

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Hazard Alert Is Issued By OSHA & NIOSH To Ensure Silica Exposure Protection

silica hazard alert

silica hazard alert

After a study by NIOSH and oil and gas industry partners found silica a health hazard to workers during hydraulic fracturing operations, they –along with OSHA—took the appropriate steps to ensure their safety and brought it to focus with a hazard alert.

Following consultations with stakeholders and industry, the alert announced now meets the Obama administration’s focus on the importance of this specific issue.

Examples of exposure include transporting, moving, and refilling silica sand into and through sand movers, and along transfer belts and into blender hoppers, which counts for up to 99 percent of the silica in the air that workers breathe. The alert explains how a combination of engineering control, work practices, protective equipment, product substitution, and proper worker safety training can reduce health hazard exposure. Common health illnesses caused from silica exposure are silicosis and sometimes even lung cancer. Other linked diseases found are tuberculosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and kidney and autoimmune disease.

“Hazardous exposures to silica can and must be prevented. It is important for employers and workers to understand the hazards associated with silica exposure in hydraulic fracturing operations and how to protect workers,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. “OSHA and NIOSH are committed to continuing to work with the industry and workers to find effective solutions to address these hazards.”

To learn more on this hazard alert, visit http://www.osha.gov/dts/hazardalerts/hydraulic_frac_hazard_alert.html.

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