Briefs

NIOSH Mine Safety Tools

Following the multiple tragedies unfolding at the Crandall Canyon coal mine in Utah, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is reminding mine operators and mine workers that the agency offers extensive resources on the NIOSH Web site to help prevent events such as caveins and roof collapses from occurring.

Resources listed on the NIOSH Web Page can help mine operators and miners to anticipate risks of roof falls in mines, to anticipate potential hazards in retreat mining operations, and to design safe mining operations that reduce such risks, the agency said. For more information on this, visit NIOSH's Web site at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/mining.

Act To Bolster Company Savings

Recently proposed legislation would offer incentives to businesses to encourage them to implement workplace wellness programs that offer employees the opportunity to live healthier lives and prevent chronic illnesses.

Co-sponsors Senators Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., introduced the Healthy Workforce Act, which would provide a tax credit of up to $200 per employee for the first 200 employees, and up to $100 per employee thereafter, to businesses that offer comprehensive wellness programs.

Wright Named CSB's Interim Executive

William Wright, a member of the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB), has been named interim executive and administrative authority of the agency following the departure of Chairman Carolyn Merritt, whose 5-year term expired Aug. 2.

Wright will serve in this capacity pending Senate approval of the presidential nomination of John Bresland to succeed Merritt as chair of CSB, which is anticipated sometime this fall. Bresland's 5-year term also expired Aug. 2, and under governing statutes, CSB board members may not continue to serve until their nominations for new terms are confirmed by the Senate.

In a memo to the CSB staff, Wright said he hoped his “tenure is short lived … as we all anxiously await John Bresland's return to the board in the position of chairman. I know the CSB will continue to excel at promoting prevention of accidents within the chemical industry and strive for excellence in all that we do here.”

The White House also said that the president plans to nominate C. Russell H. Shearer as a board member. Shearer currently is the deputy chief for enforcement and technical matters in the Office of Health, Safety and Security at the Department of Energy.

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