January 19, 2012

In This Update
Is OSHA Relevant?
OSHA Publishes IIPP White Paper
Texting While Walking PSA
Safety Awakenings Web Site Updated
Multi-Employer Construction Site Standard Issued
More Apps for the Safety Pro
Foundry Owner Faces Prison
Winter Storms Get OSHA Attention
Phone App Alerts Emergency S
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.
Bill Borwegen
Photo by Kirklandkj
Is OSHA Relevant?
In a recent on-line discussion, several participants postulated that OSHA is no longer relevant. A response by Bill Borwegen, the Health and Safety Director of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) was very interesting. Borwegen points to business segments where incident rates have and have not improved in recent years. He cites healthcare as an industry with the fastest growth in both injuries and rates and suggests that it is a field where there is the least regulation by OSHA.

An exception, he says, is in bloodborne pathogens. When the BBP standard was introduced in 1991, there were 17,000 Hepatitis B cases among healthcare workers annually. Today, the number is below 400. When the standard was amended in 2000 to require safer needles, there were 800,000 accidental needle sticks. Now the number is half that. He cites other examples, all of which show a direct relationship between increased regulation and a reduction of injuries.

OSHA IIPP logoOSHA Publishes IIPP White Paper

Long on the OSHA docket and already in place in several states, the Injury and Illness Prevention Program is gaining renewed attention with the just-issued white paper on the subject. Available as a PDF download by clicking here, the paper will provide regulators and business executives with a summary of the proposal and data to support development.

Texting while walkingTexting While Walking PSA

Filmmaker Casey Neistat created a great video on the hazards of texting while walking that is accessible on the New York Times web site. The focus is New York City, but the message is universal. Might be a good discussion starter for your next safety meeting. To access the video, click here.

Safety Awakenings logoSafety Awakenings Web Site Updated

We've told you previously about www.SafetyAwakenings.com, the site hosted by long-time safety practitioner Dave Weber. It's loaded with an incredible amount of material and Weber has just finished an extensive rework of the site. Over the years, he's worked with some of the greats in safety, including D. A. Weaver and Dan Petersen, and the material on the site rises to the standards set by D. A. and Dan.

And, much to my surprise, Dave has named the HSE Update as one of his two favorite blogs of dozens published in the U. S. If you haven't had the chance to visit SafetyAwakenings, you're missing a great resource.

Multi-Employer Construction Site Standard Issued

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) reports that standard A10.33.2011 has been updated and issued by ANSI. The standard deals with the Safety and Health Program Requirements for Multi-Employers Projects. The topic, long of concern to OSHA, is well covered by the revised standard and should be required reading for any organization trying to manage or participate in construction projects involving multiple employers. The standard can be purchased by clicking here.  The cost is $74 and is available in both hard copy and electronic edition. 

iJSA logoMore Apps for the Safety Pro   
Developers are hard at work writing apps for phones and the iPad. Some are available at the Apple App Store and others on iTunes. I've found the following free apps on iTunes. MSDS Mobile by KHA, Chemical Safety Data Sheets-ICSC (international data), and iJSA (an Australian production).
Foundry Owner Faces Prison   
OSHA has found a way to make a strong point about workplace safety-partner with the EPA. During two inspections of a New Hampshire foundry in 2009, OSHA compliance officers found drums of hazardous metal waste and told the folks at EPA. EPA came on the site in December that year with a search warrant and found all the drums still there. For the owner, John Wiehl, that was a big problem. EPA had previously cited Wiehl in 2002 and 2005 for similar violations. Enough is enough, concluded the feds, and Diehl now faces two years in prison and a $250,000 fine. At press time, the U. S. Attorney has expressed willingness to allow a plea to two years probation, six months house arrest and a public apology. In addition to the criminal charges, the company is also facing a $500,000 fine.

To see the EPA press release on the matter, click here.
Winter Storms imageWinter Storms Get OSHA Attention   
Perhaps the agency has a premonition about the rest of the winter that has caused it to create a web page specifically for dealing with the hazards of storm response and recovery operations. Given the disastrous weather of 2011, the planning likely makes good sense. If you have people who must deal with a storm, check out the web page by clicking here
vSOS appPhone App Alerts Emergency Services   
A new application for smart phones sends automatic messages to a satellite-fed dispatch center when a button on the phone is pressed. Data sent includes GPS location, name, medical history and emergency contacts. The subscription service is designed for family use as well as for business and industrial applications. Known as the vSOS app, the company marketing the software and service claims an average response time by emergency responders of one to two minutes vs. longer times for calls to 9-1-1. To see a video on vSOS, click here. To read more about vSOS and a link to the app store, 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