June 16, 2011

In This Update
Generalists Needed to Fill Future Safety Role
OSHA Residential Fall Protection Rule Effective June 16
Mid Atlantic S&H Conference July 11-13
Silent Danger: Conversations That Block Safety
OSHA Eliminates/Streamlines Rules
You Might Be a Motor Carrier
Fire/EMS Week June 19 through 25
Finns Identify Back Disability Risk Factors
Work-related Asthma Awareness
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.
Dr. John HowardGeneralists Needed to Fill Future Safety Role
According to ISHN's Dave Johnson, reporting from the floor of the 2011 ASSE Conference in Chicago, NIOSH head Dr. John Howard "comes off as relaxed, witty, insightful and articulate as always. Example: The good doctor tells the audience people who will survive and thrive in safety and health jobs in the next 10-20-30 years will excel at 2 or 3 things, not one. You won't make it if you are not a generalist.

"We really need to broaden the scope of safety and health work to include not only engineering but things like the emotional health of workers, health promotion, how work is organized to either increase or decrease job stress and fatigue," says Dr. Howard.

OSHA Residential Fall Protection Rule Effective June 16

The widely publicized new rule on fall protection takes effect on June 16 and will go through a three month phase-in. This means that, until Sept. 15, if a builder is in compliance with the old regulations, they will receive only a hazard alert letter if they do not comply with the new rule. After Sept. 15, only compliance with the new rules will be acceptable. What the new rules mean, in practical terms, is that any work above six feet must be done with fall protection which can consist of either guardrail systems, safety nets or personal fall arrest systems such as full body harnesses with lanyards and anchor point. What will no longer be acceptable are slide boards.

Mid Atlantic S&H Conference July 11-13

Atlantic City in July? Want a shot in the arm to boost your safety efforts? Consider the Mid Atlantic Safety and Health Conference and Exposition being held at the Trump Taj Majal Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City from July 11 through 13. The conference is co-sponsored by the Region II Chapter of the Voluntary Protection Program Participants Association (VPPPA) and the New Jersey Safety Council. It's a great opportunity to learn about VPP and to chat with VPP members about how they do workplace safety. For a full schedule, a vendors list and registration information, click here.

Silent Danger: Conversations That Block Safety

VitalSmarts, a training organization, has conducted a study that has uncovered what they call five "crucial conversations" that allow the creation of unsafe situations. They are (1) Get it done, (2) Undiscussable Incompetence, (3) Just this once, (4) This is overboard, and (5) Are you a team player? The study covered 1600 individuals in 30 organizations and 93 percent of respondents said their organization was at risk because people were unwilling or unable to speak up about these five situations. For a copy of the study report, click here.

OSHA Eliminates/Streamlines Rules    
The Agency has issued a final rule-the latest in an ongoing effort-that eliminates and simplifies several regulations. The effort is said to save employers $43 million annually. Included are changes to the respiratory protection standard related to cylinders and the voluntary use of PPE, updating the definition of potable water to the EPA standards, allowing the use of cold-air hand dryers and eliminating the need to transfer some health records to NIOSH. To see the press release on the changes, click here.  To read the full text of the changes, click here.
You Might Be a Motor Carrier    
A recent article in ISHN magazine suggests that many employers do not realize they, and their drivers, are subject to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the associated regulations. These regulations and requirements kick in when a vehicle or combination of equipment is in excess of 10,000 pounds. Examples include straight trucks, pick-ups with attached trailers and a variety of construction vehicles. The training requirements for commercial vehicle operation are minimal, but the regulations make it clear that training is essential for all operators. For more on this topic, click here.
Fire Safety weekFire/EMS Week June 19 through 25     
The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) are promoting the Fire / EMS Safety, Health and Survival Week, June 19-25. The theme for this year's Safety Week is "Surviving the fireground - fire fighter, fire officer and command preparedness." If you have fire and EMS personnel employed in your operation, this is the time to offer support, including time to focus on their personal safety and survival. For more information, click here.

Finns Identify Back Disability Risk Factors 

According to a Finnish study reported in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, a large study of twins found that increased risk of disability due to low back problems came from neck, shoulder and back pain, frequent use of pain drugs, smoking (current or past), chronic disease, obesity and performing manual work.
NM Health imageWork-related Asthma Awareness    
In 2010, the New Mexico Occupational Health Surveillance Program (NMOHSP) found that an estimated 69 percent of adults with asthma felt that their asthma could be related to exposures at their workplace. However, only 31percents of adults with asthma had ever talked to their doctors about the relationship of asthma to their workplace. To promote the awareness of asthma triggers in the workplace, the NMOHSP has published a fact sheet titled Could You Have Work-related Asthma? It is available as a PDF in both English and Spanish here. You'll find the document under fact sheets at the bottom of the page.

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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