Friday, 30 September 2016

Worker freezes to death in Atlanta hotel

Workers at a downtown Atlanta hotel are demanding changes after an employee died while being trapped for hours in a walk-in freezer with a malfunctioning exit button.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Worker dies of heat stroke in 110-degree weather

Federal investigators have cited an Indiana landscaping company in the death of a 23-year-old ground crewman who died after being hospitalized with a core body temperature above 108 degrees. OSHA investigators determined the employee collapsed after working more than nine hours in the direct sun when the heat index soared to 110 degrees near Poplar Bluff on July 22, 2016.

Don't Open the Windows: Health-Conscious Portland has a School Lead Paint Crisis

protect children from lead custom 16493Don't open the windows and don't eat anything from the garden. This is the newest information school officials have given to anxious parents and staff about the lead exposure problem in Portland, Oregon's public schools.

Teachers at Hayhurst Elementary in Portland have been told to keep the windows closed. Fans have been brought in to keep the classrooms cool. The problem? An accumulation in lead paint chips in the window troughs would allow lead-contaminated dust to blow through classrooms, causing dangerous exposure.

Health-conscious Portland is facing a crisis from lead exposure in their schools. Portland Public Schools and OSHA released a joint statement August 25, 2016, suggesting that lead in the soil from years of renovations may cause lead contamination on produce grown in school gardens. Recommendations were to wash hands after gardening, wash produce before eating, and not to eat any produce from Portland's school gardens.

With concern over high lead levels in school water, even in Portland's newest school, these two new recommendations from the school district are causing more alarm for parents and staff.

The school district offered lead screening over the summer to students and staff, and unfortunately, high lead levels were detected in 39 people. Multnomah County Health Department is offering screening clinics at local libraries and WIC offices through the end of the year.

Teachers have been testing high for lead, and one public school teacher required medical treatment after a lead level three times the CDC's "action level" of 5 mcg/dl was found in her blood. The teacher's union is working with public school officials to monitor progress on lead abatement measures.

Removing lead based paint is hard work, but it can be done with proper planning and procedures in place without a lot of long-term consequences. ECOBOND® LBP - Lead Defender® PRO is well versed in EPA requirements and your responsibilities as a lead-based paint renovator.   Contact us to see how we can be the first step to putting you and your project on the right side of the law with our patented Paint-it-on Leave-it-on® formula

NJ commuter train crashes into station at high speed

The investigation into this morning's deadly crash of a New Jersey commuter train is focusing on why the train barreled into the busy station at a high rate of speed.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

National Employ Older Workers Week is a chance to reflect on the safety and health needs of older workers

This last full week of September is National Employ Older Workers Week. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the week “recognizes the vital role of older workers in the workforce … and aims to increase awareness of this labor segment and develop innovative strategies to tap it.”

OSHA: Mass cave-in "could have been prevented"

Two employees of ET&L Construction Corp. escaped serious injury when the 12-foot deep trench they were working in on June 15, 2016, caved in.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

10,000 Illinois workers to get safety training through partnership

OSHA, TekSolv and American Allied Safety Council, Southwestern Illinois Building Trades Council, and Council of Owners of Construction Associates Inc. have established an alliance that will provide safety training, safety resources, and information to roughly 10,000 skilled training workers in Southwestern Illinois.

If your mail catches fire…

A grease fire in a wheel hub of a vehicle at a St. Louis Area post office almost didn't get extinguished in a timely manner, because the first two fire extinguishers that postal workers attempted to use were not charged.

Monday, 26 September 2016

ASSE President to speak at international forum in China

American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) President Thomas Cecich, CSP, CIH is in China to participate in an executive panel discussion on protecting workers at the 8th China International Forum on Work Safety in Beijing today through Thursday – an event that is attracting safety experts from across the globe.

Improved fire simulation aids training for mine emergencies

Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is a leading cause of death in underground mine fires. To identify safe emergency escape routes, investigators at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), where mine worker safety and health is a research priority, study how to predict the spread of smoke and toxic gases throughout the mine's ventilation network.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Weekly news roundup

The enduring effects of smoking, a sawmill amputation and farm safety were among the stories featured this week on

NIOSH project retrofits 50 rollover protective structures

The best way to reduce the risk of death from tractor rollovers is by using a special device called a rollover protective structure with a seatbelt. The image above depicts a tractor retrofitted with the NIOSH CROPS.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Lead Paint Awareness Courtesy of John Oliver and Sesame Street

In April of this year, comedian John Oliver teamed up with a few of Sesame Street's beloved characters, Elmo, Oscar and Rosita, to call attention to the nation's ongoing lead paint problem. It's one of many stories of late prompted by all the media attention on Flint, Michigan's lead-tainted water crisis.

But, as an April 18th article by Meredith Blake in the L.A. Times reported, Oliver pointed out that the problem of lead paint dust poses an even more serious threat to the nation's health. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), more than 2 million homes in America contain both a lead dust problem and a child under 6 years of age.

Despite his wry jokes about the issue, John Oliver knows it's no laughing matter. The scary fact is that it takes only a tiny amount (as little as 10 milligrams) to affect a young child's lifelong health. And it's literally a decades-old problem in the U.S. In fact, this isn't Sesame Street's first go-round with the issue. Twenty years ago, they produced a song to raise awareness of the problem.

Although lead abatement programs are initially costly, they've also been shown to be cost-effective in terms of lower crime rates, decreased medical spending and increased economic activity. Amazingly, though, Congress has repeatedly failed to fund HUD's lead abatement program. Some members even advocated reducing funding, while publicly expressing their horror over the situation. As Oliver noted in a more serious moment, "'s clearly time to address (the issue) again".

OSHA cites Koch Foods after severe worker injuries

Two different worker injuries at the Koch Foods poultry processing facility in Morton, Mississippi earned the company an OSHA investigation – and nine serious safety violations.

240-foot wind turbine collapses in Cape Breton -- a first for Canada

Two investigations have been launched into the collapse of an 240-foot-tall wind turbine in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, believed to be the first catastrophic failure of its kind in Canada.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Safety of automated vehicles gets government attention

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is issuing Federal policy for automated vehicles, laying a path for the safe testing and deployment of new auto technologies that have enormous potential for improving safety and mobility for Americans on the road.

iPhone 7 not glove-friendly

Beside the lack of a headphone jack, Apple's much-ballyhooed iPhone 7 appears to have a downside: it's home button does not work with most gloves -- even touchscreen-friendly gloves with conductive material on their fingertips.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Excess weight = higher workers' comp costs

Obese and overweight workers are more likely to incur high costs related to workers' compensation claims for major injuries, reports a study in the September Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).

Celebrating National Farm Safety and Health Week

September 18-24, 2016, is National Farm Safety and Health Week (NFSHW). This annual event, begun by the National Safety Council in 1944, promotes safe and healthy practices on farms and ranches around the U.S.

Monday, 19 September 2016

OSHA issues final rule protecting seamen from retaliation

OSHA has published a final rule at that establishes procedures and time frames for handling retaliation complaints under the Seaman's Protection Act (SPA). The Act protects seamen from retaliation for engaging in certain protected activity, such as providing information to the government about violations of maritime safety laws or regulations.

Standards being developed for…spaceflight?

ASTM International – the organization that sets voluntary standards for everything from copper alloys to environmental technology – has set its sights on the final frontier.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

OSHA appoints new director for its construction directorate

OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels appointed Dean McKenzie as the new director of the agency's Directorate of Construction. McKenzie has been with OSHA for seven years including serving as deputy director of DOC.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Cancer now main cause of death in western Europe

It's official. Cancer is now the main cause of death in western Europe, overtaking cardiovascular diseases. That is the main conclusion of a study published in August 2016 by the European Heart Journal.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Kicked and bitten on the job

In the last several months, workers at a Reading, Pa. facility for children and youth in crisis were the victims of at least ten violent assaults, federal workplace safety and health inspectors have found.

NTSB: Plane slid off icy runway because pilot used too much reverse thrust

The application of excessive reverse thrust during a landing at LaGuardia Airport, New York, March, 5, 2015, led to a loss of directional control and the passenger jet's departure from the snow covered runway, according to findings of the National Transportation Safety Board announced during a public meeting on Tuesday.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Poor blood-pressure control puts 5 million older Americans at risk

Some 5 million Medicare Part D enrollees age 65 and older are not taking their blood pressure medicine properly, increasing their risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and death, according to a new Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

New York City Lead Paint in the news | the need for lead based paint treatment sealant

Lead Paint in the news single newspaper 18452Major news outlets such as the New York Times and most recently, the Huffington Post, have attempted to bring to light stories about the ongoing problem of high residential lead paint hazards that are still threatening much of our nation's youth.

On March 31st of this year, for example, Huffington Post ran a story by Scilla Alecci and Nicky Forster that focused on the lead paint hazards that still threaten many kids in New York City. In their story they highlighted the story of a couple living in a Bronx apartment with their twin son and daughter. Two months after moving in to the apartment in October of 2011, the twins' pediatrician notified the children's mother that lead levels in her 14-month-old daughter's blood were alarmingly high. At such a high level (21 micrograms per deciliter), she was told, her daughter was at high risk for learning disabilities, lower intelligence and behavior problems. Later inspections of their apartment building found lead dust and paint residue throughout their unit as well as in the day-care center the little girl and her twin brother were attending in a building nearby. The couple sued the owners of both buildings, but the case is still pending.

The sad thing is, this is just one of many families in New York City's public housing whose children are exposed to the high lead paint levels that still plague many of the city's older buildings. In November of 2013, New York City's Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) began keeping a permanent on-line data base of housing code violations. From that date through the end of January of this year, HPD has issued more than 10,000 violations for dangerous lead paint conditions in apartments with children under six (the age group most susceptible to ingesting toxic paint). A HuffPost/WNYC analysis found that half of the violations issued were in just 10% of the city's zip codes -- low-income neighborhoods in Brooklyn, the Bronx and northern Manhattan. A follow-up story by Scilla Aleci on April 9, 2016, found that landlords are finding it "more economical" to wait until they're actually found out and issued violations before doing anything to address the problem.

Removing lead based paint is hard work, but it can be done with proper planning and procedures in place without a lot of long-term consequences. ECOBOND® LBP - Lead Defender® PRO is well versed in EPA requirements and your responsibilities as a lead-based paint renovator.   Contact us to see how we can be the first step to putting you and your project on the right side of the law with our patented Paint-it-on Leave-it-on® formula

ASSE AND TIA to raise awareness of new comm tower standards

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) are launching a joint effort to raise awareness of new standards that are important for all workers and companies that install, alter or maintain communication towers.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Ericson appoints John Ericson III as new president: 4th generation family owned business

Ericson, a pioneer in engineering and manufacturing of temporary power and lighting products is pleased to announce new President, John Ericson III.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Worker suffers “life-altering” injury at Ohio plant

For the fifth time since 2013, federal investigators have been called to an Ohio aluminum foundry to investigate the serious injury of a worker.

Exercise can help keep medical costs down

Getting recommended levels of exercise weekly may help keep down annual medical costs both for people with and without cardiovascular disease, according to new research in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

From electrocution to crushing: NIOSH FACE reports gather the grim facts

A dozen workers die almost every day in the U.S. as a result of a traumatic injury on the job. In order to identify the factors that contribute to these fatal injuries, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducts investigations through its Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program.

Friday, 9 September 2016

What your HazCom program should include

An effective HAZCOM program depends on the credibility of management's involvement in the program; inclusion of employees in safety and health decisions; rigorous worksite analysis to identify hazards and potential hazards, including those which could result from a change in worksite conditions or practices; stringent prevention and control measures; and thorough training.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

NORA Enters Its Third Decade

On October 1, the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) enters its third decade. Unveiled in 1996, NORA is a partnership program to stimulate innovative research and improved workplace practices. Through NORA, diverse parties come together to create a research framework for the nation, including stakeholders from universities, large and small businesses, professional societies, government agencies, and worker organizations. NIOSH is proud to continue its role as steward of NORA.

ESFI provides tips for staying safe in the aftermath of Hurricane Hermine

With Hurricane Hermine making its way steadily toward the United States, the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is reminding residents that danger may linger in your home even after the storm has passed.

Beyond Flint: Lead Paint in the News. A New Lead Paint Testing Proposal from HUD

Lead Hazard-iStock 82541179 We've all been made aware of the lead poisoning crisis in Flint, Michigan due to extensive national news coverage of the problem, but Cleveland, Ohio has a bigger problem with lead, and unlike Flint, it has nothing to do with their water supply. Cleveland's lead poisoning crisis is a direct result of a failed decades-long campaign to attack the problem of lead paint in the city's old buildings and residences. Consider that at the height of the water-caused lead crisis in Flint in 2014, roughly 7% of its children tested positive for lead poisoning. The percentage of children in Cleveland was a shocking 14.2%, according to a March 3rd New York Times report. The article also reports that Philip J. Landrigan, a leading expert on lead and a professor of preventive medicine and pediatrics at Mt. Sinai School of medicine, the huge problem of lead in the U.S. passes mostly unnoticed, except for a few rare cases. He believes that unless Congress takes further action on the problem of lead poisoning in America's children, the problem will only escalate.

The Federal government started phasing out lead in gasoline in 1975, and lead in paint was banned in 1978. In 2000, a government task force proposed ending lead poisoning in children by the end of the decade. It's clear that has not happened. While blood lead levels in kids under 6 have declined significantly, there is no disputing that much work remains before we eradicate the problem completely. Recent estimates have the number of households that still have at least some lead paint on walls and woodwork is about 37 million, and another 23 million have potentially hazardous levels of lead in soil, paint chips and dust. Of those 60 million hazardous households, the CDC estimates that at least 4 million have children living in them. A half million of those children are believed to have enough lead in their systems to merit medical attention.

Unfortunately, in most cities, the affected neighborhoods are poor ones with little political clout. But experts say that state and local government concern over the costs of fixing the problem is unfounded. A 2009 study estimated that every dollar spent on removing lead hazards would result in $221 in benefits resulting from increased productivity, greater tax revenues and lower health care costs.

The U.S. is plagued by a lead paint problem that has literally been going on for decades. Millions of older homes and apartments across the country -- many housing families with small children -- contain chipping, peeling lead paint which is threatening the normal development of our nation's kids.

On Thursday, September 1st, a local Connecticut newspaper called the NewsTimes, picked up an Associated Press story on the subject. AP writer Matt O'Brien, reports that the nation's top official at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Julian Castro, is proposing that the level of lead in children's blood that currently triggers federal action to clean up their homes, be significantly reduced. Castro made the announcement about the new proposed rule change in Providence, Rhode Island and later, toured Providence's HUD-assisted homes with the city's mayor.

The current actionable level of lead in children is 20 micrograms per deciliter of blood. Castro wants to lower the level to 5 micrograms per deciliter, saying this would allow HUD to ensure that the homes they support are as safe as possible. The new rule would also expand their investigations to include a full environmental inspection, rather than just a basic lead paint assessment, allowing them to more easily find and fix the source of lead exposure. Under the new rules, any time a child under 6 is found to have lead levels in their blood that are above the threshold, providers of HUD-assisted housing must report the case to HUD, triggering an investigation. If either lead paint or lead-infused soil are found, the provider must fix the problem immediately under penalty of law.

The revisions to the current law would align HUD's lead limits with those recommended by the CDC in 2012.

Castro made the announcement in Rhode Island because the state reportedly has the oldest rental housing inventory in the country. The Rhode Island Health Department says that even though elevated lead levels in the state's children have declined by about one-third in the past 10 years, there are still 935 Rhode Island children who will be entering kindergarten this year with elevated levels of lead in their blood which can lead to irreversible health, behavioral and learning problems.

ECOBOND® LBP, LLC is the nation's leader in developing and distributing products that improve the protection of human health and safety from the hazards of lead in the home, workplace, and the environment. With over 15 years in patented and proven success, the ECOBOND® family of products have been extensively used in successfully treating lead hazards in over 11,000,000 tons of material while serving over 100,000 customers in the United States and Internationally.

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Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Teach your children well

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is making an effort to get out in front of the employment curve when it comes to enhancing an individual's awareness of workplace safety.

Non-drug approaches to pain management prove effective

Data from a review of U.S.-based clinical trials published today in Mayo Clinic Proceedings suggest that some of the most popular complementary health approaches - such as yoga, tai chi, and acupuncture - appear to be effective tools for helping to manage common pain conditions.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

OSHA: Se habla español

Every page on OSHA's website can now be translated into Spanish with one click of your mouse or tap of your finger. Just go to the Spanish link at the top right corner of every webpage to have the text instantly translated.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Most US adults believe pharmacies shouldn't sell tobacco

Two-thirds of American adults believe pharmacies should not be allowed to sell tobacco, while 14 percent strongly oppose such a policy, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Friday, 2 September 2016

OSHA partners with Health Canada on hazcom plan

OSAH and Health Canada -- the Canadian government department responsible for the country's national public health -- have jointly developed a 2016-2017 Workplace Chemicals Work Plan.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

NTSB investigates tank-car breach, hazmat release

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) launched a team Wednesday to investigate the breach of a rail tank-car and subsequent release of 17,000 gallons of chlorine Saturday at a facility in New Martinsville, West Virginia.

New book answer breast cancer patients' questions

The American Cancer Society has published a book intended to help newly diagnosed breast cancer patients quickly digest the crucial information needed to navigate through their experience.