January 10, 2011

In This Update
FBI National Security Conference at MCC Jan. 20
Obama Administration Tough On Safety Issues, Says OMB Watch
Australian's Produce High-Impact Drunk Driving Video
New Web Page Focuses on Tobacco Smoke in the Workplace
White Paper On OSHA Injury Illness Prevention Program Available
Ergonomics Pays!
New York Moves Laser Safety Regulations
Free Workplace Safety and Health Information from NIOSH
State Issues Snow Plow Fire Alert to Municipalities
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.
FBI National Security Conference at MCC Jan. 20
MCC and the FBI will be hosting a day-long conference dealing with economic security, export control and cyber security 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Thursday, January 20 at the main campus, Thomas Flynn Campus Center (Building 3-Monroe A&B). For questions and registration information, contact Sheila Manns at (585) 753-3851 or by e-mail at smanns@monroecc.edu.  The target audience for the program includes corporate security directors, IT personnel and operations managers.

Obama Administration Tough On Safety Issues, Says OMB Watch 

In a new report from OMB Watch, the organization says that the first two years of the Obama administration have seen a dramatic increase in enforcement actions as well as a significant involvement by the President himself. At OSHA, inspections for the past two years are up only slightly over the Bush years, but violations have increased as much as tenfold vs. Bush. The number of citations for willful violations is up five times the Bush years. Similar increases are seen at the FDA and EPA. To get a PDF copy of the report, click here.

Australian's Produce High-Impact Drunk Driving Video 

They may drive on the left side of the road, but other than that, this 5:22 minute video could have been shot in any U. S. community. The film series began in 1989 and in the past twenty-one years, highway deaths from drunk driving in the district where the videos are shown have dropped from 776 to 303. This latest in the series shows beautiful people and the tragic aftermath of their choices.  Grab the video from YouTube by clicking here. Use it for a discussion starter at your next safety meeting.

New Web Page Focuses on Tobacco Smoke in the Workplace

NIOSH has released a new workplace safety and health topic page on tobacco smoke in the workplace. The page provides resources to help employers and workers prevent workplace exposures to tobacco smoke and to encourage workplace-based smoking cessation programs. To access the page, click here.

White Paper On OSHA Injury Illness Prevention Program Available     
The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) issued a white paper in late December that provides support for the proposed OSHA Injury Illness Prevention Program (known as I2P2). It is the AIHA view that the performance-based approach to program management should be:
  • Broad in scope with wide coverage
  • Not exempt workplaces due to size or low rates
  • Cover temporary workers and multi-employer worksites
  • Be aware of documentation burdens on small employers
To download the full paper, click here.
Ergonomics Pays!     
Jane Sleeth, an ergonomist from Toronto, writing in the Canadian Occupational Safety magazine for December, reports that businesses that use ergonomics in the initial phase of purchasing, design and move/build projects save from 15 percent to as much as 700 percent in follow-up consulting fees, modifications and retrofits. Working with qualified ergonomists, she points out, will always result in a benefit to companies - not a cost. By taking practical steps to reduce MSD's in the workplace without throwing money at equipment purchases, the result is most often reduced injuries, reduced absenteeism, reduced errors and maximized productivity.
New York Moves Laser Safety Regulations    
In October, NYS issued 61 NYCRR 21 that deals with state certificates of competency for pyrotechnicians, blasters, crane operators and laser operators. You can see the regulation by clicking here. The document has raised many questions in safety circles, particularly with respect to laser operation. Fortunately, our friend Peter Zavon has cleared the air. Apparently, most of the regulation as it relates to lasers is simply a move from other statutes and does not introduce new rules. In addition, it only affects mobile laser operation (laser light shows, for example). However, the statute also deals with crane operator certification in construction, so if you have crane operators working for you in the construction, demolition or excavation, it might be worthwhile to read the regulation.
Free Workplace Safety and Health Information from NIOSH     
NIOSH has a huge number of safety and health communication products available for free through the NIOSH Web site. In many cases, you can obtain multiple copies of brochures that can be distributed to your people to help address information and technical issues. Get copies of the newest information in occupational safety and health right off the press by clicking here. Multiple copies of many publications are also available.
State Issues Snow Plow Fire Alert to Municipalities     
In December, the NYS Office of Fire Prevention and Control alerted local government in the State to four fires in large vehicles used for plowing snow that resulted in extensive damage to the vehicles and to three town garages with costs exceeding a million dollars. The problem, it appears, is that the temporary electrical hook-ups required for plowing were made without securing the electrical cables to the frame to avoid chaffing and electrical shorts. The accompanying photo shows the cable on one rig chaffing against the frame. Typically, mechanics would be expected to protect cables and chaffing points whenever work is done on vehicles, but the urgency of preparing a plow for service may have resulted in shortcuts. We repeat the alert here because any of you who operate plowing equipment - or have vehicles with temporary equipment hook-ups - might face the same problem.

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Lawrence H. "Chip" DawsonView my profile on LinkedIn
Dawson Associates
Rochester Business Alliance Coordinating Consultant for HSE
1434 East Avenue
Rochester, NY 14610-1619
(585) 461-1549