February 14, 2011

In This Update
UMass Center Offers Report on Solutions for Workplace Safety and Health
Electrical Safety Manual Available from NIOSH
OSHA Pulls Back on Occupational Noise Interpretation
NIOSH Twitter Site Launched for Hearing Loss Prevention and Noise Control
One In Five Fortune 500 Companies Ban Cell Phones While Driving
American Petroleum Institute Makes Safety Standards Available to Public Online
Dutch Study Finds More Than Half Unwilling to Use AED
CSB Finds Multiple Errors In 2008 Bayer CropScience Explosion
OSH Summer Internships Offered through OHIP
DeVilbiss Recalls Air Compressors
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.
report coverUMass Center Offers Report on Solutions for Workplace Safety and Health
The Lowell Center for Sustainable Production at University of Massachusetts Lowell has produced Lessons Learned: Solutions for Workplace Safety and Health.  The report's six case studies illustrate systemic failures to protect workers, communities, and the environment. Lessons Learned identifies seven high-priority strategies for making workplaces safer.  While improved regulations and enforcement are clearly needed, there are many other opportunities to improve worker health and safety. Two versions of the report, one the full report, the other an executive summary, both free downloads, are available at the site by clicking here.

Electrical Safety imageElectrical Safety Manual Available from NIOSH 

NIOSH has developed a student manual for secondary and post-secondary electrical trades courses. The manual is designed to engage the learner in recognizing, evaluating, and controlling hazards associated with electrical work. While it is intended for students in the trades, the manual should be helpful in training and coaching company mechanics and others who do electrical work. It was developed through extensive research with vocational instructors and is available as a PDF by clicking here.

OSHA Pulls Back on Occupational Noise Interpretation 

In a move prompted by an outcry from the field, OSHA has withdrawn its proposed interpretation that would have required the use of feasible administrative or engineering controls before implementing the use of hearing protection. While standard practice with any hazard controls is to try engineering solutions first, noise control has been the one big exception to the rule. OSHA had hoped, with this rule, to force employers to try engineering solutions so as to avoid the use of PPE.

In announcing the withdrawal, OSHA chief David Michaels said, "It is clear from the concerns raised about this proposal that addressing this problem requires much more public outreach and many more resources than we had originally anticipated. We are sensitive to the possible costs associated with improving worker protection and have decided to suspend work on this proposed modification while we study other approaches to abating workplace noise hazards."

These efforts include conducting a thorough review of submitted comments and any other information OSHA receives on this issue; holding a meeting on preventing occupational hearing loss open to employers, workers, and noise control and public health professionals; consulting with experts from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the National Academy of Engineering; and initiating a vigorous effort to provide enhanced technical information and guidance on the many inexpensive, effective engineering controls for dangerous noise levels. 

NIOSH Twitter Site Launched for Hearing Loss Prevention and Noise Control

Follow NIOSH and the work-related hearing loss prevention community on Twitter (http://twitter.com/NIOSHNoise) to stay connected. Tweets will address information related to occupational noise control and hearing loss prevention, including safety and health research, facts and statistics, news and updates, conferences, and publications. For more information, click here.

cell phoneOne In Five Fortune 500 Companies Ban Cell Phones While Driving     
In a survey of the Fortune 500, the National Safety Council has found that 100 of them now have a total ban on the use of cell phones by all  employees while driving. For the past two years, the NSC has been calling for such bans and their efforts appear to be working. To download a free cell phone policy kit for employers from the NSC, click here.
API logoAmerican Petroleum Institute Makes Safety Standards Available to Public Online     
The American Petroleum Institute is putting 160 industry standards online for the first time, part of an effort to be more transparent about the standards under which many oil and gas companies operate. Click here to access read-only copies of the standards. You will need to register, but there is no cost. There are more API standards that are not being released, but all the safety standards are included in the free set.

The move comes as regulators have been criticized for adopting many standards written by the industry as federal regulations, both for offshore drilling and onshore pipelines. For example, the API authored all or part of 27 standards on pipeline safety that were then adopted by a key agency that oversees pipelines, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. There have been similar reports of the now-defunct Minerals Management Service adopting the industry's offshore drilling standards.
Dutch Study Finds More Than Half Unwilling to Use AED    
EHS Today reports on a study published in January in the Annals of Emergency Medicine that found that few people in a public situation even feel they are authorized to attempt the use of an AED in a cardiac arrest situation. In fact, over half the people in the study were unable to recognize an AED. Only six percent in the study mentioned an AED as the first choice of action. For those of you who have an AED in your workplace, the message is obvious-train everyone, not just a few first aiders.
explosion imageCSB Finds Multiple Errors In 2008 Bayer CropScience Explosion     
In August of 2008, a Bayer pesticide manufacturing unit in Institute WV exploded killing two and injuring eight when a runaway chemical reaction in a pressure vessel reached the critical stage. As is typical of many such investigations, the Chemical Safety Board found a multitude of factors combined to allow the event to take place. The unit had been down for extended maintenance. The CSB found the startup was begun prematurely, a result of pressures to resume production, and took place before valve lineups, equipment checkouts, a pre-startup safety review and computer calibration were complete. CSB investigators also found the company failed to perform a thorough Process Hazard Analysis, or PHA, as required by regulation. For more on the report, click here.
OSH Summer Internships Offered through OHIP     
Applications are being accepted for the Occupational Health Internship Program (OHIP) through March 14. OHIP is a national program committed to recruiting, training, mentoring and inspiring a new generation of occupational safety and health professionals to prevent job injury and disease through a partnership with workers. Funded by NIOSH and other organizations, OHIP is a project of the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AOEC). Applications are available by clicking here.
compressor photoDeVilbiss Recalls Air Compressors    
Citing risk of fire, DeVilbiss has recalled 460,000 air compressors sold between January 2003 and December 2004 at home centers for between $199 and $299. Craftsman-brand compressors are included in the recall and were sold between September 2000 and December 2005. For details from the CPSC, click here.

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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