June 28, 2010

In This Update
ZERO Fatalities - A Utah Traffic Goal
Heat Stress Affects Performance
Ohio EHS Manager Indicted
WISER System Adds iPhone/iPod Touch Capability
OSHA Boss Names Two Top Priorities
Incident Rates for Young Workers Cause for Concern
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.
Zero Fatalities imageZERO Fatalities - A Utah Traffic Goal
The state of Utah has an excellent web site devoted to reducing traffic fatalities on the state's roads. Included are videos that can be downloaded and used in company training. One featured currently on the site is the Reggie Shaw story that deals with texting while driving. To access the site and the video, click here.
heat stress imageHeat Stress Affects Performance 
According to a report in the June issue of EHS Today, a dehydration level of only two percent can dramatically reduce reaction times and the ability to focus. Heat stress can come on when working under high heat and humidity or in encapsulated clothing where sweat rates can approach 2.25 liters per hour. Once dehydrated, it may take as long as 24 hours to fully rehydrate. Simply taking fluids while working may not be enough. Where heat stress is a possibility, workers and supervisors should know the risk factors, warning signs and corrective action. Typically, providing a cool working environment, frequent rest periods in a cool location, rehydration and active cooling methods are necessary individually or in combination to combat heat stress. For more on heat stress from NIOSH, click here.
Ohio EHS Manager Indicted 
An Ohio grand jury has returned criminal indictments against United Oil and David Weber, the company's environmental health and safety manager. They were charged with one count each of involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, violation of wastewater permit, deviation from pre-treatment permit and criminal endangering. Company President David Brown and Plant Manager Jay Black are each charged with one count of criminal endangering. The indictments stem from a 2008 incident where wastewater was improperly treated and off-gasses killed an employee. To read a full account of the case, click here.
iPhoneWISER System Adds iPhone/iPod Touch Capability 
The Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders (WISER) - a PDA and Web-based resource for first responders in hazardous materials incidents - is a product of the National Institutes of Health Library of Medicine. The system provides a wide range of information on hazardous substances, including substance identification support, physical characteristics, human health information, and containment and suppression advice.

This is the first release of WISER for iPhone/iPod touch, and, like all iPhone applications, WISER is also compatible with Apple's iPad.  Look for new enhancements to the content and functionality of the application in the coming months. You may download WISER for the iPhone/iPod touch from the iTunes App Store, which can be accessed directly by clicking here.

WISER for BlackBerry is up next in the lineup. For a fact sheet on WISER, click here.
OSHA chief David MichaelsOSHA Boss Names Two Top Priorities   
Promulgating a sweeping injury and illness prevention program standard (I2P2), which would require employers to find and fix hazards, and modernizing OSHA's injury and illness data collection system are the top priorities OSHA chief Dr. David Michaels wants to see completed during his time at the agency, he told a group of reporters (including ISHN editor Dave Johnson, who sent us this report) following his Monday afternoon speech to about 500 safety and health pros at ASSE's national meeting in Baltimore.

The agency actually has a length list of objectives, but you can look for these two to get the most attention - and news. As we've reported previously, Michaels again told his ASSE audience "OSHA is back, we are a strong regulatory agency first and foremost."
young workers imageIncident Rates for Young Workers Cause for Concern
Young workers (age 15 through 25) die on the job at a rate slightly lower than the rate for older workers, but their non-fatal work-related injuries are double the rate of workers over 25 years of age. These facts come from the CDC weekly morbidity and mortality report for April 23 and should be cause for concern among employers. We've long known that new workers are at much higher risk than experienced workers. We also know that the likely causes are inadequate job and safety training, failure to observe and coach, false assumptions that new workers know more than they actually do, and a failure to ensure that the workplace culture supports the development of new employees. To see the CDC source report, click here.

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