November 15, 2010

In This Update
AIHA Schedules Session on Confined Spaces
OSHA Clarifies "Effective" Training
ISHN Survey Shows Interesting Findings
Reduction in National Incident Rates Brings Warning
Ryobi Recalls Cordless Drills Due to Fire Hazard
OSHA Proposes Revision to "Feasibility" Provision of Noise Standard
NIOSH WorkLife Newsletter Available On-Line
New Cranes and Derricks Fact Sheets Available
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.
AIHA Schedules Session on Confined Spaces
The Western New York Chapter of the American Industrial Hygiene Association has schedule a two and a half hour teleweb session on Tuesday, Nov. 30, at the Kodak Camera Club Theater. The session runs from 2:00 to 4:30 p.m. and costs $10 at the door. For details, contact Richard K. Rote, CIH, at (585) 295-6241 or

OSHA Clarifies "Effective" Training

In a memorandum to regional administrators from OSHA head David Michaels, Agency policy on training makes it very clear that all safety and health training must be delivered "in a manner that employees receiving it are capable of understanding." This means that training must be in a language the employees understand and, if the employee(s) is not literate, the training must utilize other means of communication to ensure comprehension. For this reason, a training record with a signature will not be considered, by itself, evidence of adequate communication.

ISHN Survey Shows Interesting Findings

The 2010 White Paper Study of 363 active safety professionals among the ISHN readers has turned up some findings that may suggest new directions for some of our readers. For example:

  • Half of respondents see job-related stress increasing in 2011
  • 44 percent have seen employee participation in S&H initiatives and management support increase in the past 12 months.
  • 63 percent are optimistic or positive job security, program effectiveness and organizational profit/loss status will improve in 2011
  • Nearly half want to see a revised HazCom standard covering GHS and a third favor the proposed OSHA injury illness prevention program rule.
  • Three quarters will attempt to engage employees more in safety activities, conduct near miss investigations, do root cause analysis and risk assessments.
  • With respect to executive attitudes, 49 percent are said to think they get it but don't, 7 percent don't get it at all and 44 percent get it thoroughly and act accordingly.

Secretary of Labor Hilda L. SolisReduction in National Incident Rates Brings Warning

While BLS incident rates continue to drop dramatically based on 2009 data, the feds express serious questions about reliability.  In response to the BLS findings, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis issued the following statement:

"Complete and accurate workplace injury records can serve as the basis for employer programs to investigate injuries and prevent future occurrences. Most employers understand this and do their best to prevent worker injuries, but some do not. That is why my department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is aggressively working to ensure the completeness and accuracy of injury data compiled by the nation's employers. We are concerned about the widespread existence of programs that discourage workers from reporting injuries, and we will continue to issue citations and penalties to employers that intentionally under-report workplace injuries."

drillRyobi Recalls Cordless Drills Due to Fire Hazard    
The CPSC has announced a voluntary recall of about 455,000 Ryobi Model HP 1802M Cordless Power Drills because the switch on the drill can overheat, posing a fire and burn hazard to consumers.  Ryobi has received 47 reports of the drills overheating, smoking, melting or catching fire, including 12 reports of property damage to homes or vehicles. Two of the incidents involved minor burns from touching an overheated switch. The drill is powered by an 18-volt rechargeable NiCad battery.  The drills are blue and black in color with "Ryobi" appearing in red and white on the left side. The model number can be found on a white label on the right side of the drill. The units were sold at The Home Depot from January 2001 to July 2003 for about $100. For more details on the recall, click here.

OSHA Proposes Revision to "Feasibility" Provision of Noise Standard
Historically, OSHA has seen "feasible" in the noise standard (1910.95) as referring to that which is most cost effective. In a new Federal Register notice, the agency proposes a revision to the current enforcement policy so that feasible now means "capable of being done." The result of this change would allow PPE for noise to be used only as a last resort where there is no administrative or engineering solution. Comments on this proposed change can be submitted to the agency by December 20, 2010. For more information, click here.

NIOSH WorkLife Newsletter Available On-Line 
NIOSH is now publishing an on-line newsletter that addresses both on and off-the-job issues for employers and their employees. A key goal of the NIOSH WorkLife program is to champion efforts that promote safety and health for workers, whether they are on or off the job. An effort that addresses on- and off-the-job risks at the same time is even better, claims NIOSH. To see the current edition and to subscribe, click here.

cranesNew Cranes and Derricks Fact Sheets Available 
Two fact sheets have recently been posted to the OSHA Web site to provide assistance complying with Subpart CC of the cranes and derricks in construction final rule. The Qualified Rigger fact sheet is a guide for determining if a worker is qualified to properly rig the load for a particular job. The Signal Person fact sheet explains the proper qualifications for a worker whose job is to direct a crane operator under conditions such as when the crane's point of operation is not in full view of the operator or the operator's view is obstructed in the direction the equipment is traveling. OSHA's Cranes and Derricks in Construction Final Rule page contains the complete text of the rule, additional fact sheets, a PowerPoint presentation, an archived Web chat and answers to frequently asked questions. To access all the material mentioned, click here.

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