September 30, 2010

In This Update
Do I Need Fire Extinguishers in My Facility?
New Guide to Best Available Medical Care
Safety Number One with Workers
Safety Engineers to Meet, Hear OSHA Update
Don't TXT_n_drV
Siemens Recalls Circuit Breakers Due to Fire Hazard
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.
fire extinguisherDo I Need Fire Extinguishers in My Facility?
Good question. The answer is "no." In recognition of Fire Prevention Week Oct. 3-9, we'll tackle the question with a look at OSHA's reasoning. Most fire insurance carriers want you to have fire extinguishers, but OSHA says you can do without them as long as you have an emergency plan (1910.38), a fire prevention plan (1910.39) and you have a written policy that calls for the immediate and total evacuation of all personnel. If you choose to have fire extinguishers, you must train anyone who you want to use the extinguisher in first aid fire fighting. In other words, if you know what you're doing, fight fire; if not, get out.

ACOEM logoNew Guide to Best Available Medical Care 
The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM), working in partnership with the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions (IAIABC), has released a guide to help employers and employees, insurers, regulatory agencies, and others in the workers' compensation system identify the best available physicians to provide care for people who have suffered work-related injuries and illnesses,


Free copies of the guide, A Guide to High-Value Physician Services in Workers'  Compensation are available for downloading at the ACOEM web site and the IAIABC web site. At the IAIABC website, go to the "News" section; at the ACOEM web site, go to "Policy & Position Statements," then "Reference Material."

Safety Number One with Workers

A recent study by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago found that 85 percent of workers rank workplace safety first in importance ahead of family and maternity leave, minimum wage, paid sick days, overtime pay and the right to join a union. The study also disclosed that safety gets public and media attention largely during times of workplace disasters and is largely forgotten during most other times. Finally, the study found that job-related stress often plays a role in injury. A related NORC study has found that 13 percent of workers find their jobs "always stressful" and 21 find the "often stressful."

ASSE logoSafety Engineers to Meet, Hear OSHA Update  
Gordon DeLeys, compliance assistance officer for the Buffalo area office of OSHA, will be the featured speaker at the Oct. 4 monthly meeting of the American Society of Safety Engineers. The meeting is open to the public and is free for the presentation. Dinner is also open to the public, but costs $17 and requires a reservation. The meeting at the Green Lantern in Fairport begins around 6 p.m. For more information and a reservation, call Paulette Lantuh at (585) 425-5464.
cell phoneDon't TXT_n_drV   
The U. S. Department of Labor has announced a partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation to combat distracted driving. "It is imperative that employers eliminate financial and other incentives that encourage workers to text while driving," said DOL Secretary Solis. "It is well recognized that texting while driving dramatically increases the risk of a motor vehicle injury or fatality." Prohibiting texting while driving is the subject of an executive order signed by President Barack Obama last year for federal employees and the subject of rulemaking by the DOT. To access the federal government's Distracted Driving site, click here.

Siemens Recalls Circuit Breakers Due to Fire Hazard 
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced a voluntary recall of Siemens and Murray Circuit Breakers, Load Centers and Meter Combos affecting about 2.2 million units. The recalled circuit breakers have a spring clip that can break during normal use, leading to a loss of force to maintain a proper electrical connection in the panel board. This can lead to excessive temperature, arcing or thermal damage at the connection point, and damage to the panel board's electrical insulation and can result in a fire, property damage, or personal injury.

This recall involves Siemens and Murray 15 through 50 AMP single and double pole circuit breakers, load centers (circuit breakers that come with an electrical panel), and meter combos (contain a load center and a meter socket). The affected units were manufactured between June 2010 and August 2010 and were sold at The Home Depot, Lowes, other hardware and building supply stores, and numerous electrical distributors nationwide from June 2010 through August 2010 for $2.50 to $235. For more information, click here.

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