May 11, 2010

In This Update
Watch Social Media for Trouble Spots
Spring Regulatory Agenda Includes Plan to Find and Fix Workplace Hazards
May is Motorcycle Safety Month
OSHA Seeking Recordkeeping Modernization Input
OSHA Makes Data on Toxic Chemical Exposure Available Online
NIOSH Science Blog Has Data on Young Workers
OSHA Will Require Safety Training to be Offered in a Language Workers Understand
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.
Social media pictureWatch Social Media for Trouble Spots
In casual conversation with an attorney recently, he said that when he opens a new case, the first place he goes is to MySpace, Facebook and Twitter to see what the people involved in his case are saying. Amazingly, he finds people posting very personal information discussing and/or showing illegal, unethical or highly questionable activity. In many cases, they are telling their friends about the court case, what their attorney told them and what they told their attorney. In fact, the individuals are doing great research for my friend.
As for application to your business, unless you clamp a firm lid on what your people are sharing on social media, there is an excellent chance that you have no company secrets. By the same token, social media is a great place to look if you want to assess the health of your organization and identify potential problems. It's a new world out there and you need to use it to your organization's advantage.
Spring Regulatory Agenda Includes Plan to Find and Fix Workplace Hazards
OSHA's spring 2010 Regulatory Agenda includes a new standard that would require each employer to implement safety prevention measures tailored to the actual hazards in that employer's workplace. Instead of waiting for an OSHA inspection or a workplace incident to address workplace hazards, the proposed Injury and Illness Prevention Program (I2P2) standard would require that employers develop a plan, with worker participation, to identify the hazards present in their worksites and address them before they cause an injury, illness, or death.
"We are asking employers to 'find and fix' the hazards in their workplace," said Assistant Secretary Michaels. OSHA will be holding a series of stakeholder meetings to get public input on the development of the I2P2 standard. The meetings will be held June 3 in East Brunswick, N.J., June 10 in Dallas, Texas, and June 29 in Washington, D.C. Those wishing to take part in these meetings can go online to submit a notice of intent to participate. Submission deadlines and options for sending notification by mail or fax can be found in the notice on the stakeholder meetings published in the Federal Register. To see a summary of the proposed rule, click here.
Motorcycle imageMay is Motorcycle Safety Month
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month - the initiative sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) designed to reduce motorcycle-related deaths and injuries. Many organizations across the country will be holding events or distributing material throughout the month to help remind motorists to be aware they are sharing the road with motorcycles.

That awareness alone could help prevent the most common fatal crashes. The Traffic Safety Facts 2008 Data for motorcycles indicates that 5,290 motorcyclists were killed and 96,000 were injured. Most of those accidents involved motorcycles and another vehicle (41 percent) and happened when the other vehicle was turning left while the motorcycle was going straight, passing, or overtaking the vehicle.

For additional information on motorcycle safety, click here.
OSHA Seeking Recordkeeping Modernization Input
Frustrated with the recordkeeping process? Have ideas about modernization and data handling? Know you can design a better mousetrap? Then plan now to participate in informal stakeholder meetings on the modernization of OSHA's injury and illness data collection system. As an alternative, you can submit written comments. OSHA needs to gather information from stakeholders in order to be able to modify its current injury and illness recordkeeping regulation and develop a modernized recordkeeping system in ways that will help OSHA, employers, employees, researchers, and the public prevent workplace injuries and illnesses as well as increase the ability of the public to easily find, download, and use the resulting dataset generated and held by the Federal Government.

The meeting dates are: May 25 from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. in Washington, D.C. and June 3 from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. in Chicago, IL. Written comments must be submitted (postmarked, sent, or received) by June 18, 2010.
Submit your notice of intent to participate in one of the scheduled meetings by one of the following:
  • Register online here.  (Follow the instructions online.)
  • Register by fax.  Send your request to: (781) 674-2906 and label it "Attention: OSHA Data Collection Process Stakeholder Meeting Registration."
  • Regular by mail, express delivery, hand (courier) delivery, and messenger service. Send your request to: Eastern Research Group, Inc., 110 Hartwell Avenue, Lexington, MA 02421, Attention OSHA Data Collection Process Stakeholder Meeting Registration.
OSHA Makes Data on Toxic Chemical Exposure Available Online
In keeping with the President's memorandum on open government, OSHA has released 15 years of data detailing workplace exposures to toxic chemicals. The data, available on OSHA's Web site, is comprised of measurements taken during the course of inspections, including exposure levels to the hazardous chemicals asbestos, benzene, beryllium, cadmium, lead, nickel, silica and others. It can offer insights into the levels of toxic chemicals commonly found in workplaces, as well as how exposures to specific chemicals are distributed across industries, geographical areas and time. To view the data, click here.
Youth imageNIOSH Science Blog Has Data on Young Workers
As we approach the time of year when many young people start summer jobs, we all need to do our part to keep them safe at work.  On average each year from 1998 to 2007, about 800,000 workers 15-24 years of age were treated in emergency departments and nearly 600 died from work-related injuries.  Younger workers were twice as likely as their older counterparts to be treated in hospital emergency departments for work-related injuries.  Read about how to protect our young workers on the new NIOSH Science Blog post by clicking here.
OSHA Will Require Safety Training to be Offered in a Language Workers Understand
OSHA issued an enforcement memorandum directed at protecting Latino and other non-English speaking workers from workplace hazards. It directs compliance officers to ensure they check and verify that workers are receiving OSHA required training in a language they understand. "This directive conforms with Secretary Solis' clear and urgent goal of reducing injuries and illnesses among Latino and other vulnerable workers," said Assistant Secretary Michaels. To see the enforcement memorandum, click here.

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