February 14, 2012

In This Update
"Kill The Safety Culture!" Says British PM David Cameron
OMB Stalling GHS Standard
RAND Study Finds California I2P2 Program Works
Play Professional Football and Live Longer!
Tips on Bagging Sprinklers
OSHA Issues New Pub on Noise in Construction
WNY Safety Conference Features Billy "The Exterminator"
Finnish Study Finds Excessive Overtime Linked to Major Depression
ILO Issues Stress Prevention Book
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.
Prime Minister David Cameron
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"Kill The Safety Culture!" Says British PM David Cameron
Dave Johnson, associate publisher and chief editor of ISHN, writes a blog that is consistently interesting. In his latest effort, he tells readers that politicians just don't get safety. To back his premise, he attributes British Prime Minister David Cameron with words designed to boggle the mind of any S&H pro. Here's part of what Cameron said recently:

"My pledge to you this year is to kill off for good the excessive culture of safety and health that is dragging down business like a heavy wooden yoke. Safety culture is nothing more than a straitjacket on personal initiative and responsibility. We must crush these cultures before any more damage is done." Finding politicians in the U. S. with similar views is not difficult, suggests Dave.

To read Dave Johnson's full report on the PM, click here.

Exploding head imageOMB Stalling GHS Standard

It's Washington, after all. The "no brainer"-adopting what the rest of the World is already doing-is stalled while various special interest groups debate changes and additions to the proposed standard. No telling now when GHS will see the light of day. It makes my head explode! 

RAND Study Finds California I2P2 Program Works

According to a new study by the RAND Corporation, a longstanding injury and illness prevention program in California succeeds in protecting workers when coupled with effective enforcement practices.

The first-ever evaluation of the California Injury and Illness Prevention Program identified specific components of the California program, such as training and accident investigation, that are effective in preventing injuries. In addition, the report found that the approach used in California can significantly reduce workplace injuries, but only if it is adequately enforced.

John Mendeloff, lead author of the study and a senior public policy researcher for RAND, suggested that safety and health impacts for workers are greater when employers treat illness and injury prevention as more than just a paper program. According to Mendeloff, the positive impacts are more pronounced when inspectors go beyond a simple review of employers' written documents.

To see the OSHA I2P2 White Paper, click here.

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NIOSH photo

Play Professional Football and Live Longer!

That's what the folks at NIOSH have found. In a report just published in the American Journal of Cardiology, NIOSH researchers have found that former pro players have a much lower overall death rate compared to men in the general U. S. population and live longer than the average American male. The study examined 3,439 retired NFL players who played between 1959 and 1988. Of those studied, 334 had died. If they died at the same rate as the general population, 625 would have died by now. The cancer rate was also much lower.

However, where the BMI exceeded 30 while playing, the risk of heart death was double that of other players. Also, African American players had a 69 percent higher risk of death from heart disease than Caucasian players.

As for why the overall death rate is lower, the researchers found low levels of cigarette smoking, higher muscle mass and higher levels of fitness. To see the report, click here


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Tips on Bagging Sprinklers
Common practice while spray painting is to cover sprinkler heads to prevent overspray from insulating them and preventing or delaying operation in the event of a fire. A recent question on the subject prompted us to look at new developments in this area. It's not unusual for people to cover the heads with paper bags, cellophane, plastic bags and even spray lubricant. But some of these choices are wrong. For an authoritative recap of the code requirements, we asked code enforcement officer and former fire chief Sherman Manchester to comment.

Manchester tells us that NFPA Code 13 deals with fire sprinkler systems and is the source document for the New York State Fire Code 903.3. The code prohibits painting of fire sprinklers and mandates their replacement if they are painted by other than the manufacturer. To protect heads during spray operations, thin paper or cellophane bags (0.093 inch thickness maximum) may be used. Covers must be removed immediately after spraying is finished. To get a copy of Chapter 9 of the NYS Fire Code, click here. (Note: This is a draft copy.)

A new device on the market is called "Coverdome" (www.coverdome.com), but it does not appear that the device is an approved cover. Richard Thomson, regional representative of the NYS Department of State Codes Division, advises that if the plastic Coverdome is used, it has the same effect as taking the sprinkler out of service that requires notification of the local code official, a fire watch, and an inspection process to ensure their removal.

OSHA Issues New Pub on Noise in Construction   
OSHA has published a new educational booklet for construction workers, Protecting Yourself from Noise In Construction. The booklet, written for workers and employers, provides information on the hazards of loud noise in construction, how noise levels are measured, and how to find out if noise on the job site or from tools is loud enough to cause hearing loss. It also gives examples of administrative and engineering controls employers can use to reduce worker exposure to noise, as well as information on the proper selection and use of personal hearing protection. To download a PDF copy of the booklet, click here
Billy the ExterminatorWNY Safety Conference Features Billy "The Exterminator"   
The stars of the reality TV show Billy the Exterminator-brothers Billy and Ricky Bretherton-will keynote the Western New York Safety Conference this March. The annual late winter event will take place this year at the Seneca Event Center in Niagara Falls on March 14 & 15. For details, click here.
Finnish Study Finds Excessive Overtime Linked to Major Depression   
In the latest report of an on-going study, Finnish researchers found that among British civil servants where study participants with no psychological morbidity at the start of the study, those who worked 11 or more hours per day compared to those who worked between 7 and 8 hours per day had a 2.43 odds ratio of a subsequent major depressive episode. The study was reported in PLoS One, where an abstract can be viewed by clicking here.

The bottom line in the report: Data from middle-aged civil servants suggest that working long hours of overtime may predispose to major depressive episodes.
ILO imageILO Issues Stress Prevention Book   
Work-related stress is one of the most important issues in many countries. The negative impacts of stress are multiform and can include circulatory and gastrointestinal diseases as well as physical, psychosomatic and psychosocial problems. These in turn can lead to poor work performance, high accident and injury rates, and low productivity. To help address these problems in workplaces around the World, the ILO has published "Stress Prevention at Work Checkpoints. Practical improvements for stress prevention in the workplace." It is available for downloading 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