August 22, 2011

In This Update
Study Shows Regulations Are Net Positive
Private Sector Preparedness Accreditation Process in Place
McWane Uses Performance Reviews and Bonuses to Ensure Accountability
BST Paper Reports Minor and Serious Injuries Not Related
Pedestal Grinder Fatality Results in $160,000 Fine for Ohio Company
OSHA Unveils Heat Safety Smartphone App and Heat Index Guidance
ASSE Meets on Jefferson Road September 6
New OSHA Web Addresses Work-Related Hearing Loss
NIOSH Campaign to Reduce BBP Exposure Called STOP STICKS
Local Emphasis Programs Listed On OSHA Enforcement Web Page
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.
Study Shows Regulations Are Net Positive
Lax regulation was a chief culprit in a number of recent disasters in the U.S. The financial meltdown, the BP oil spill, and the Upper Big Branch mine explosion each demonstrate the need for government oversight of corporations. But despite this recent history, Republicans, small-government conservatives, and even some Democrats have spent much of the past two years denouncing regulations and blaming them for slowing the economic recovery. In an analysis of five significant regulatory initiatives, Public Citizen found that all saved lives at minimal cost and, in one case, improved productivity. For a copy of the white paper on the analysis, click here

FEMA logoPrivate Sector Preparedness Accreditation Process in Place

In 2007, Public Law 110-53 was enacted to implement the 9/11 Commission report. A section of the law (Title IX) focused on Private Sector Preparedness and outlined a program for the certification of businesses. After a four-year "stall", it appears that third-party auditors will begin the voluntary certification process for those organizations that would like to participate. To read more about the process and the reasons that certification would be beneficial to your organization, click here

Barb Wisniewski photoMcWane Uses Performance Reviews and Bonuses to Ensure Accountability

A few years back, most of us in the safety community were using the name "McWane" to describe the worst of the organizations on OSHA's bad actor list and a classic sick culture. No longer. After killing a few people and making a New York Times front page feature, McWane management finally got the message. They hired Barb Wisniewski, CIH, CSP, CPEA as VP for safety and health and gave her incredible authority to drive a culture change. Now the corporation flies the VPP flag at seven locations and uses tough accountability measures to ensure full management buy-in with safety.

Here's what Wisniewski wrote to the members of an on-line discussion group in which I participate. "Executive bonuses are reduced by various percentages for high injury rates, low audit scores, OSHA citations, failures to implement our EHS management system, internal policy requirements or hold bi-annual EHS management reviews. We certainly have had many reasons why EHS is such a focus here at McWane, but I will say accountability through performance reviews and the bonus structure certainly has helped!"  

BST Paper Reports Minor and Serious Injuries Not Related

Acting on a request from seven large clients to find methods to identify and eliminate the causes of serious injuries and fatalities, BST conducted a major data analysis of all injuries at the participating companies. In the face of lowering rates of recordable injuries nation-wide, the normal expectation would be a reduction in serious injuries and fatalities. But, serious injuries and fatalities are either flat or increasing. In a white paper report on the analysis, BST explains why the reduction of less serious injuries does not correlate with serious injuries and fatalities.

The two primary reasons found were that (1) the causes of serious injuries and fatalities are often different than those of less serious injuries, and (2) the potential for serious injury is low for the majority of less serious injuries. To prevent the most serious injuries, they suggest, requires looking at different strategies. It also requires a better understanding of incident data that the typical OSHA recordable rate will provide. To download the white paper as a PDF, click here.  

Grinder imagePedestal Grinder Fatality Results in $160,000 Fine for Ohio Company   
How many times do you find a pedestal grinder with inadequate or missing guarding, poorly adjusted work rests and face shields so covered with dust and grit that you know no one uses it? In my experience, far too often and they were the reasons behind an exploding abrasive wheel that struck an employee in the head and killed him at Advantage Powder Coating in Defiance, OH. The fine resulted from two willful violations for guarding and tool rests.

Heat Index App imageOSHA Unveils Heat Safety Smartphone App and Heat Index Guidance

In a first-ever development, OSHA has issued a new Heat Safety Tool Smartphone app. The app is designed for devices using an Android platform, and versions for BlackBerry and iPhone users will be released shortly. The app, which can be downloaded for free in English and Spanish, allows users to calculate their worksite heat index, determined by a combination of high temperature and humidity. Based on the heat index, the app displays a risk level to outdoor workers. To download, click here.

ASSE Meets on Jefferson Road September 6     
The Genesee Valley Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers is holding its first dinner meeting of the 2011-2012 season on Tuesday, September 6, at a new location, the Radisson, 175 Jefferson Road. Social hour starts at 5 p.m. followed by a presentation by Dr. Frederic J. Mis, the radiation safety officer for the University of Rochester Medical Center. Dr. Mis will speak on nuclear power incidents. Dinner will follow the presentation. The meeting is open to all interested individuals, ASSE member or not. Call Alex Lantuh at (585) 415-5437 or e-mail by September 2 for reservations. 

Hearing imageNew OSHA Web Addresses Work-Related Hearing Loss 

OSHA has launched a new Safety and Health Topics page on occupational noise exposure to provide resources to prevent noise-related hearing loss. For more than 25 years, hearing loss has been the most prevalent occupational health concerns in the country. Approximately 30 million people in the United States are occupationally exposed to hazardous noise and thousands of workers every year suffer from preventable hearing loss due to high workplace noise levels. The new Web page provides information on the health effects of hazardous noise exposure and comprehensive information on controls to prevent hearing loss. To access the new page, click here.

Stop Sticks logoNIOSH Campaign to Reduce BBP Exposure Called STOP STICKS 

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) developed its STOP STICKS campaign to raise awareness about the risk of exposure to blood borne pathogens such as HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C from needlesticks and other sharps-related injuries in the workplace. Sharps injuries are a significant injury and health hazard for health care workers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about 385,000 sharps-related injuries occur annually among health care workers in hospitals. The STOP STICKS campaign's goal is to prepare and motivate health care workers to make the changes needed to reduce sharps injuries. To access the campaign, click here.

Local Emphasis Programs Listed On OSHA Enforcement Web Page 

In Region II (NY and NJ), 20 LEPs are currently active. They include construction fall hazards, highway and bridge maintenance, marinas, amputations, warehousing, refuse haulers and handlers, landscaping, hotels, isocyanate, metal recycling, lead, sylica, car wash facilities and never before inspected high hazard manufacturing establishments. Not all these NEPs impact the RBA service area, but employers are advised to check any topics that may deal with their business. 


If you want to know what OSHA is doing in our area, the OSHA Enforcement Web page now contains a new section that lists all the currently active local emphasis programs (LEPs) across the country. LEPs are enforcement strategies designed and implemented at the regional office and/or area office levels. These programs are intended to address hazards or industries that pose a particular risk to workers in the office's jurisdiction. To see the full list, 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