February 2, 2010

In This Update
Post Your 300A Now
Want to Influence OSHA? Act Quickly
Shiftwork Adds $8,600 per Worker Per Year to Costs
Texas Sees Rise in Motorcycle Deaths
OSHA Releases New Workplace Injury and Illness Information
Workers' Comp Study Shows Way to Curb Comp Costs
Company President Forfeits Car in Whistleblower Case
OSHA Announces Informal Public Hearings on Hazard Communication Rule
The Shiftwork Start/Stop Time Debate
Quick Links
Chip DawsonThis health, safety and environment electronic update comes from Chip Dawson and the Rochester Business Alliance as a service to member organizations.
330A imagePost Your 300A Now
You know the drill. Feb. 1 to April 30 is the period when the OSHA 300A log summary must be posted where notices are normally seen and it must be signed by the chief executive at the site. If you have questions or concerns, send us an e-mail.
Francis Perkins buildingWant to Influence OSHA? Act Quickly
If you're interested, the Agency is hosting an "OSHA Listens" session in Washington for all stakeholders to offer comments and suggestions on the key issues facing the agency. The session will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 10. The public meeting will be held at the Frances Perkins Building auditorium, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. To attend and/or make an oral presentation, individuals must register by e-mail at stakeholder.meeting@dol.gov by close of business on Feb. 3. In the e-mail, include:
  • Your name, title, company or organization (if applicable), address, telephone number and e-mail address.
  • If you wish to make a short presentation, the specific topic or issue to be addressed.
Those unable to attend may send written comments to OSHA Docket Office, Docket Number OSHA-2010-0004, Technical Data Center, Room N-2625, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20210, or submit them via e-mail to stakeholder.meeting@dol.gov. Identify all comments with the docket number. For more information on the scope of the meeting, attending the meeting or providing written comments, refer to the OSHA press release by clicking here.
Circadian logoShiftwork Adds $8,600 per Worker Per Year to Costs
According to Circadian, the shiftwork experts, their research shows that shiftwork operations add annual costs per worker for absenteeism, lost productivity, turnover, accidents and health care of $8,600 beyond the costs experienced by day workers. But the organization points out that each cost has a solution that does not require the elimination of shiftwork. For a summary of the suggested solutions, click here
No helmet photoTexas Sees Rise in Motorcycle Deaths
In what may be no surprise at all, a study reported in the Southern Medical Journal found that since the 1997 repeal of the mandatory motorcycle helmet law in Texas, the rate of motorcycle-related deaths has increased by 15 percent and the motorcycle fatalities per vehicle mile has gone up 25 percent. Pundits point to the on-going pull between safety and political will as a reason for the steady shift away from mandatory helmet laws.
Photo from bus-plunge.blogspot.com.
OSHA Releases New Workplace Injury and Illness Information 
Every year since 1996, OSHA has collected work-related injury and illness data from more than 80,000 employers. For the first time, the Agency has made the data from 1996 to 2007 available in a searchable online database, allowing the public to look at establishment or industry-specific injury and illness data. The workplace injury and illness data is available by clicking here or you can go to Data.gov. I just did this for a few clients and it's clear that there are no secrets for your safety data any more.
Johns Hopkins buildingWorkers' Comp Study Shows Way to Curb Comp Costs
According to a Johns Hopkins study published in the January edition of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, the practice patterns of physicians participating in a workers' compensation system had a profound impact on the ultimate cost of claims.

After analyzing five years of claim data from the Louisiana Workers' Compensation Corp., or LWCC, from 1998 to 2002, the researchers found that a small group of physicians, only 3.7 percent, accounted for more than 72 percent of the workers' compensation costs. These were termed cost-intensive providers, or CIPs.  "Across the board, we've found that most physicians practice prudently," says Edward J. Bernacki, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine's Division of Occupational Medicine and principal investigator of the study. To see more detail on the study from Johns Hopkins, click here.
Confiscated carCompany President Forfeits Car in Whistleblower Case
Department of Labor officials and U.S. marshals seized a company president's vehicle after he failed to pay $7,500 is back wages as part of an OSHA whistleblower case. The federal seizure order resolved the lawsuit filed after the company violated whistleblower provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act by terminating a worker whose complaint was suspected of prompting an OSHA inspection. Click here for more details.
OSHA Announces Informal Public Hearings on Hazard Communication Rule
OSHA will host informal public hearings on the proposal to align the agency's hazard communication standard with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. The proposed rule will improve the consistency and effectiveness of hazard communications and reduce workers' chemical-related injuries, illnesses and fatalities. The first hearing will occur March 2 at Labor Department headquarters in Washington, D.C. Additional hearings will occur March 31 in Pittsburgh and April 13 in Los Angeles. For details, click here.
Driving tired photoThe Shiftwork Start/Stop Time Debate
According to Circadian, start and stop times should be carefully considered to maximize the possible sleep night workers can get before or after their shift and also minimize the risks presented by sleep deprivation. For example, most single-vehicle accidents occur around 5:00 AM because the lowest level of human alertness occurs between 3 and 6 AM. For more on this discussion, click here.

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