MAKING WORKERS SAFER AROUND THE NATION

The following new services and innovations have been introduced by International Safety Equipment Association member companies to help make workers safer:

  • From Capital Safety - www.capitalsafety.com - home of the DBI-SALA® and Protecta® brands of fall protection, are three fall protection training courses for the wind energy industry, including “Competent Person” (two days), “Competent Rescuer” (four days), and “Competent Rescuer Trainer” (four days). They are conducted at Capital facilities in Red Wing, Minn., and Mississauga, Ontario.

  • From Kappler is the HazMatch® clothing selection tool located at www.kappler.com that enables fast, confident selection of protective apparel. A user enters the name or CAS number of a hazardous material and answers a few simple exposure questions; HazMatch provides a suit recommendation, with detailed information on each garment proven effective against that particular hazard, Kappler said.

  • From Speakman Company - www.speakmancompany.com - is a redesigned commercial Web site to mark the beginning of the company's external re-brand launch to the emergency safety markets. The site features an updated look and offers users a clean and simple interface. Speakman manufactures emergency eyewash and shower equipment.

  • From Howard Leight/Sperian Hearing Protection - www.howardleight.com - are:

    • HearForever™, a major initiative aimed at raising awareness of the dangers, risks and consequences of noise-induced hearing loss at work and at home. HearForever personalizes the hearing conservation experience through a series of new advertisements and a special microsite, www.hearforever.org.

    • A free white paper, “Best Practices in a Hearing Conservation Program: US Airways,” which examines how, in the time since America West merged with US Airways, the new US Airways endeavored to consolidate and enhance its corporate safety program - and specifically its hearing conservation program.

    • A free case study, “Nucor Provides Measurable Worker Hearing Protection with Howard Leight Technology,” that details how the company is using state-of-the-art VeriPRO® earplug fit-testing technology to evaluate whether each individual employee is receiving optimal on-the-job hearing protection. Nucor employs 20,000 people nationwide, Sperian said.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) - www.osha.gov - has issued a final rule updating references to national consensus standards for certain types of personal protective equipment (PPE) in its general industry, shipyard employment, longshoring and marine terminals standards for eye/face, head and foot protection.

OSHA updated the references to reflect more recent editions of the applicable national standards, including the International Safety Equipment Association's American National Standards for eye/face (Z87.1) and head protection (Z89.1) that incorporate advances in technology.

Also, OSHA has revised the compliance directive for its Steel Erection Standard to change two enforcement policies. One addresses the standard's requirement that employers install a floor or net within two stories or 30 feet, whichever is less. The second states that employers must comply with the requirement that steel studs (known as shear connectors), which bind concrete to the steel, be installed at the worksite.

Other recent OSHA steps to enhance worker safety include:

  • Launching a national emphasis program (NEP) on recordkeeping to assess the accuracy of injury and illness data recorded by employers.

  • Reminding employers and workers about available resources and standards that identify hazards and offer solutions to prevent fatalities in grain-handling operations such as loading, emptying and cleaning storage bins.

  • Revising its acetylene standard with updated references reflecting current industry practices.

  • Highlighting reports about employer- specific occupational fatalities on its homepage so that employers and workers can learn from this detailed information to enhance worker safety and health.

New publications available from OSHA cover:

  • “Best Practices for Protecting EMS Responders During Treatment and Transport of Victims of Hazardous Substance Releases” guidance document; it helps employers determine the type of training and PPE needed by anticipating the EMS responder's role in a worst-case scenario
  • A Safety and Health Information Bulletin identifying the risks and providing information on the safe operation of “Special Purpose Particle Accelerators,” which are finding increasing use to treat tumors that are not reachable by other methods.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) - www.cdc.gov/niosh - has updated its interim “Guidance on Infection Control in Health Care Settings,” which recommends that a robust hierarchy of controls - engineering, administrative, and personal protective equipment (PPE) - be used to protect health care workers from biological hazards associated with exposure to influenza.

Regarding PPE, the guidance continues to recommend that health care workers in close contact with patients suspected or confirmed to have H1N1 influenza wear fit-tested disposable N95 respirators.

In related news, NIOSH has developed a Web page containing information that should be regarded as a reliable source to identify NIOSH-approved respirators, how to obtain products, and how to use them. New information will be added as it becomes available, NIOSH noted.

“Safer miners” is the goal of two new NIOSH communications tools:

  • Analysis software, “Determination of Sound Exposures (DOSES),” helps mine operators and miners better identify and control sources of potentially harmful noise.

  • “Take Refuge” guidelines on how to set up, use and maintain refuge chambers (emergency structures designed to provide safe shelter) in underground mines.

Other new NIOSH communications products include:

  • Four fire fighter fatality investigation reports, (1) “Volunteer mutual aid fire fighter dies in a floor collapse in a residential basement fire,” (2) “Volunteer fire fighter dies in apparatus crash - Ohio,” (3) “Volunteer lieutenant dies after falling from a bridge while attending to a motor vehicle crash,” and (4) “Death of a fire fighter trainee who suffered sudden cardiac death during maze training in Virginia.”

  • Three health evaluation reports covering (1) workers' asthma and respiratory symptoms at a soy processing facility, (2) employees' concerns about exposure to lead solder paste and fumes and noise at a printed circuit board manufacturing plant, and (3) airport cargo handlers' exposure to carbon monoxide.

  • Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (NPG) as a mobile application for the iPhone or iPod touch.

The U.S Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) - www.msha.gov - has announced a comprehensive strategy to end new cases of black lung among the nation's coal miners. Black lung is a collection of debilitating and potentially fatal diseases from respirable coal mine dust exposure. The initiative will include focused enforcement, targeted education and training, rulemaking, and collaboration with stakeholders, MSHA said.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 10,000 miners have died from black lung over the last decade.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) - www.csb.gov - has released two new safety videos covering a combustible dust explosion at a Port Wentworth, Ga., and depicting a reactive chemical accident that devastated a chemical manufacturing facility in Jacksonville, Fla. Both are available for viewing at and downloading from the Web site.

The 9-minute “Inferno: Dust Explosion at Imperial Sugar” video includes a new 4-minute, 3-D computer animation depicting the first explosion that likely occurred inside a recently enclosed sugar conveyor, which was followed by massive secondary dust explosions.

The computer-animated “Runaway: Explosion at T2 Laboratories,” also 9 minutes long, details an accident involving a thermal chemical reaction. It includes a 3-D computer animation of the sequence of events leading to the reaction and resulting explosion and fire as the company was attempting to produce a batch of the gasoline additive.

Also newly available from the CSB is a safety bulletin based on preliminary findings from a June 2009 ConAgra Foods natural gas explosion in Garner, N.C. The bulletin emphasizes five key lessons to prevent fires and explosions during fuel gas purging operations.

New from the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) - www.acoem.org - are:

  • A study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine reporting that Web-based education and other approaches can help reduce the high health and safety risks faced by truck drivers.
  • Medical treatment guidelines for providing care to workers with injuries of the hand, wrist and forearm.

New from the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) - www.acgih.org - are 22 monographs of the Air Sampling Instruments Committee's future publication, Air Sampling Technologies: Principles and Applications, as downloadable products, and 15 CD-ROMs of webinar sessions conducted in recent years on a variety of topics. The air sampling topic monographs are $25 each; the webinar CD-ROMs are $325 for non-members.

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) - www.asse.org - announced approval of a newly revised American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/ASSE Z359.0-2009 Definition and Nomenclature Used for Fall Protection and Fall Arrest voluntary consensus standard.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) - www.nfpa.org - has launched new document information Web pages to make finding information on its more than 3,000 codes and standards easier. In addition to new search capabilities, users of the “Doc Info” pages are able to find additional details by selecting one of three tabbed sections, (1) Document Information, (2) Next Edition, and (3) Technical Committee.

From the National Safety Council (NSC) - www.nsc.org - comes a new Web site where visitors will find greatly improved navigation and search capabilities.

New from the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation is a free video to raise workplace safety awareness among temporary workers. The presentation includes a general safety orientation and six modules focusing on identifying hazards at construction, landscaping, manufacturing and food distribution sites, warehouses and offices. The video may be found in the Safety Library at http://www.ohiobwc.com/basics.

REFERENCES

  1. http://www.howardleight.com/bestpractices/educate

  2. “See Fit Testing Ear Plugs” by L. Hager in June 2006 Occupational Health & Safety.

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