November 21, 2011

In This Update
Ooops! Hands-on Fire Extinguisher Training Sometimes Required
ASSE Body of Knowledge Resource Now Available
Mayo Clinic Study Confirms Fewer Heart Attacks in Smoke-Free Work
Advice on Crowd Management Available for Download
Heavy Work With Poor Fitness = Heart Attacks
OSHA Releases Construction Educational Videos
Worker Killed in Fall from Platform
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.
Arc flash imageOoops! Hands-on Fire Extinguisher Training Sometimes Required
Following our news item in the last edition of HSE Update, our friend and OSHA Compliance Assistance Officer Gordon DeLeys called with some additional information. We had said that OSHA does not require hands-on or practical training in the use of fire extinguishers, just classroom training. We based this on an OSHA interpretation. Since the date of that interpretation, however, OSHA has modified its policy to require hands-on training for any individual specifically assigned to use a fire extinguisher in a workplace emergency. The new source document is OSHA Directive CPL 2-1.037, dated July 9, 2002, titled "Compliance Policy for Emergency Action Plans and Fire Prevention Plans."

The CPL, a guidance document for OSHA Compliance Officers, says in section VIII.C.3. that "Employees who are expected to use portable fire extinguishers must be provided with 'hands on' training in the use of the fire extinguishing equipment." This entire document is worth reading, since it outlines (not all that clearly) when OSHA Emergency Plan and Fire Prevention Plan requirements must be met and the extent to which they must be met.

As for hands-on training, some fire departments are now providing the training using propane-fired training units that are safer and more predictable than open pan fires. In 2009, the Clifton Springs Fire Department in Ontario County received a grant to purchase a BullEx I.T.S. Xtreme system that has dramatically improved their ability to train members of the community. Our photo shows one of their training sessions.

ASSE Body of Knowledge Resource Now Available

It's for members only, but word is that it's a fantastic tool. Built from the entire set of information available to the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), the new 'Safety, Health and Environmental Body of Knowledge' (BOK) tool is a compilation of occupational safety, health and environmental information in one searchable, interactive on-line database which aims to provide the safety profession, businesses, communities and anyone else the information they need when it comes to safety. To learn more, click here. Make your own decision on this, but I've been told it's well worth the cost of membership in ASSE. To learn about membership, click here.

March 2011 Speed Networking tableMayo Clinic Study Confirms Fewer Heart Attacks in Smoke-Free Workplaces

New research from the Mayo Clinic shows that the incidence of heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths was cut in half among Olmsted County, Minn., residents after a smoke-free ordinance took effect. Adult smoking dropped 23 percent during the same time frame, as the rates of other risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity remained stable or increased. Dr. Richard Hurt conducted the study and can be seen discussing the project in a video accessible by clicking here. To see the Mayo Clinic press release on the study, click here.

March 2011 Speed Networking tableAdvice on Crowd Management Available for Download

Encouraging retail employers to take precautions to prevent worker injuries during Black Friday and other major sales events during the holiday season is the important message available from Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for OSHA. The recording explains why OSHA is reaching out and provides advice on how retail employers can keep workers safe. To download, click here. For a fact sheet on crowd management safety, click here.

water jelHeavy Work With Poor Fitness = Heart Attacks

A report in the latest issue of ISHN magazine says that researchers have linked physically demanding work to an increased risk of fatal heart attacks-but only for men who are unfit. The study was published in the November Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. The results suggest that by maintaining good physical fitness, men who engage in heavy labor can avoid increased risk, and possibly even lower their risk of death from heart disease. To read the full ISHN article, click here.

March 2011 Speed Networking tableOSHA Releases Construction Educational Videos   
OSHA has released 12 educational videos about potential hazards in the construction industry. The educational videos are brief (2 to 4 minutes), easy to understand, and geared to the needs of employers and workers. One in every five workers killed on the job nationwide is in construction - totaling nearly 800 construction worker deaths every year. The videos are based on real-life incidents and include detailed depictions of hazards and the safety measures that would have prevented these injuries and fatalities. OSHA's videos cover falls in construction, workers who are struck by vehicles and heavy equipment, sprains and strains, trenching and excavation hazards, and carbon monoxide poisoning. Most are animated. To access the videos, click here.
Lab safety imageWorker Killed in Fall from Platform   
According to a report in Safety Supervisor, a young contractor was 30 feet in the air on a plywood platform laid across the forks of a lift truck operating a compactor to drive in a piling. The vibrations caused him to lose his balance and fall head-first into the deep hole with the sandy soil collapsing over him, leaving only his legs exposed. While the job set-up appears to have had several flaws, one notable is the use of plywood on forks. The law says that only a properly designed and constructed basket approved by the lift truck manufacturer may be used for lifting personnel.  For more on fork truck safety, see the OSHA Powered Industrial Truck page by clicking 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