December 29, 2011

In This Update
OSHA Offers Revised Workplace Safety Poster
AIHA Offers New Web Site for Consumers
NTSB Calls for Ban on PEDs While Driving
Traffic Deaths In US
Respiratory Protection for Nanoparticles Work
Occupational Health Best Practices Improve Injury Outcome
Light Bulbs to Change in 2012
App Available On Hybrid and Electric Auto Rescue
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.
OSHA posterOSHA Offers Revised Workplace Safety Poster
Since 1971, OSHA has required employers to post the "It's The Law" poster in a prominent place in every work site. To make it easy, OSHA provides the poster free of charge (no need to buy one from those vendors trying to make a buck) both on-line and by mail. The poster is available in English, Spanish and Polish (don't ask me why) and can be reproduced for posting as long as it is at least  8 by 14 inches. To get an electronic copy of the poster, click here

AIHA logoAIHA Offers New Web Site for Consumers

The just-announced web site from the American Industrial Hygiene Association provides information about the industrial hygiene field, links to find an industrial hygienist, information about careers in the field and resources for lay people on a variety of industrial hygiene topics. Podcasts are available that cover home safety issues and additional data on current news topics are covered under "hot topics." To access the site, click here.

NTSB Calls for Ban on PEDs While Driving

We've reported it on these pages for some time-personal electronic devices (PEDs) lead to distracted driving roughly the equivalent of legal intoxication. In the widely publicized call for a ban from the NTSB, significant weight is added to the research reporting PED problems on the road. While implementation is up to the states, the overwhelming evidence supporting a ban essentially makes it mandatory on employers to immediately stop the use of all PEDs and similar distracting activity by employees when driving on business. Legal or not, if an employee is involved in a highway crash-or causes one-while using a PED, liability is almost certainly going to land on the employer. With all that is known, an effective defense will be hard to mount.

Traffic Deaths In US  at Lowest Level Since 1949

Distracted driving notwithstanding, traffic fatalities in 2010 numbered just 32,885. We'll stop short of calling that great, but the 1.10 fatality rate per 100 million miles is the lowest on record. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood credits safety agencies with driving the decline which occurred in most categories, including passenger cars, light trucks, and with drunken driving. Increases were measured in large trucks (distracted driving and sleeping), pedestrians and motorcycles. In a new reporting category, still being refined, distraction-affected crashes caused 3,092 deaths in 2010.

Respiratory Protection for Nanoparticles Work

The NIOSH Science blog has a blog entry posted that covers research and recommendations for the use and selection of respirators for engineered nanoparticles work. To access the blog, click here.

Occupational Health Best Practices Improve Injury Outcome   
A new study of occupational health care in Washington State shows that improving medical care for injured workers can dramatically reduce lost work time. The study is published in the December 2011 issue of the American Public Health Association journal Medical Care. Dr. Gary Franklin, medical director for the Washington Department of Labor and Industries (L&I), which enforces the state's occupational safety and health standards, was one of the researchers involved in the study.

"Work-related disability is a major public health problem that's largely overlooked in the U.S.," Franklin said. "This study shows that using occupational health best practices when treating injured workers can have an important effect on their recovery."

L&I's community-based Centers of Occupational Health and Education (COHE) work with medical providers to encourage the best ways to treat injured workers. These "best practices" focus on the safe, healthy return of injured workers to full function and full employment. The study found that injured workers treated by health-care providers operating under COHE best practices had 19.7 percent fewer disability days than other injured workers receiving treatment, and a reduction in total disability and medical costs of $510 per claim. Workers suffering from back strain had a reduction in disability days of 29.5 percent. To access the COHE page for more information, click here.
If you want to encourage your occupational health provider to follow the Washington State guidelines, there is a provider link on the home page with implementation details.
light bulbsLight Bulbs to Change in 2012   
The Department of Energy is moving forward to implement energy efficiency legislation that will have a dramatic impact on the light bulbs available for purchase and use. While Congress has been playing with this legislation, conventional wisdom says that the changes will take place because of the economic and environmental sense they make. The first target date for change is July 14 when some T12, T8 and PAR bulbs will no longer be manufactured. For help in understanding the changes - and dispel many myths - click here.
Auto guide
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App Available On Hybrid and Electric Auto Rescue
New sources of energy in vehicles are causing problems for emergency responders. In answer to the concerns, an app (available through iTunes) teaches rescue and extraction techniques and covers battery issues and cutting vehicle bodies near sensitive areas. To get the app, go to the Apple iTunes Store and search for the free "Hybrid Auto Extrication Guide." 

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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