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 Ansell is the Eighth Edition of the Chemical Resistance Guide, containing updated hand protection permeation and degradation data. The comprehensive document is available as a downloadable PDF, or chemical workers can request a free hard copy by regular mail at www.ansellpro.com.

  • From Gateway Safety is the 2009 edition of its full-line product catalog, a sourcing guide for more than 60 styles of safety eyewear, hearing, respiratory, head and face protection products. Visit www.gatewaysafety.com or call 800-822-5347.

  • From DSM Dyneema and Kimberly-Clark Professional comes word that Kimberly Clark has joined Dyneema's licensing program for protective gloves made with Dyneema® fiber. Kimberly Clark plans to expand its offerings with additional cut-resistant gloves featuring Dyneema fiber.

  • From Avon-ISI is an improved Web site, www.avon-isi.com, which has a user-friendly layout with information organized into categories, including “market solutions” and “product solutions.” Each product is organized into tabbed information, such as descriptions, approvals, user focus, features and options that viewers can select.

  • From Jackson Safety are changes to promote its “Lean and Green” program, which is intended to keep the environment safe. For example, the company's catalog now is available in an interactive format online at www.jacksonsafety.com/catalog.

  • From MCR Safety is an improved Web site offering easier navigation and faster document access at www.mcrsafety.com. The company also has introduced “Professional Grade” as its market identity to provide consumers with the highest level of innovation in safety products.

  • From Moldex comes word that it received the 2008 Frost & Sullivan Award for Green Excellence in Product Innovation in the North American Hearing and Respiratory Protection market. The award is presented to acknowledge a company's commitment to environmental sustainability in its product lines. Visit www.moldex.com.

  • From Sperian Protection is a Howard Leight poster detailing the care and maintenance of earplugs and earmuffs. Designed for placement on worksite bulletin boards or in other high-traffic areas, the poster is downloadable free through www.howardleight.com.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)www.osha.gov — issued a final rule on clarifying employers' duty to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) and train each employee. The rule revises OSHA standards to clarify that, for employers to be in compliance, they must provide PPE and hazards training for each employee covered by the standards.

Each employee not protected may be considered a separate violation and penalties assessed accordingly, OSHA said, adding that this revised language is consistent with language in other standards for which per-employee citations have been upheld.

OSHA also issued clarifications on the use of self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) when entering a silo, and on the classification of hard hats, and posted on its Web site a letter of interpretation concerning corrosive materials and concentrations requiring use of emergency eyewashes and showers.

When entering a silo during the first 4 to 6 weeks after filling stops, or any time the silo is full or partially full, SCBA should be worn, OSHA said.

Concerning hard hats, OSHA said it is in the process of updating its incorporated reference to the ANSI/ISEA Z89.1 standard for head protection to recognize the 1997 and 2003 editions of the standard, which use a new classification system for the various types of head protection. In the newer editions, head-protective helmets are classified differently by both Type and Class than in the current OSHA-incorporated 1986 edition. ISEA publishes the ANSI head-protection standard.

OSHA issued the letter of interpretation concerning eyewashes and showers in response to a request from the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York. Access it at http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=27181.

OSHA also announced that in conjunction with a proposed rule on cranes and derricks in construction, it has initiated a National Crane Safety Initiative to address safety hazards during construction crane operation.

In other construction-related news, OSHA unveiled a web page at http://www.osha.gov/doc/falls/preventingfalls.html as the central repository of resources targeting ways employers and employees can prevent construction-related falls.

The agency also announced that it had published a final rule on improving the safety of longshoring employees who work with vertical tandem lifts (VTLs). The rule may be found in the Dec. 10, 2008, Federal Register.

New communications products from OSHA include:

  • OutreachTrainers.org, a free Web site dedicated to the Outreach Training Program community. Developed in cooperation with the Directorate of Training and Education, the site provides easy access to scheduling information for 10- and 30-hour Construction and General Industry training classes. Employees interested in training can search from more than 700 registered outreach trainers to find course locations and schedules based on the type of training and proximity.

  • A Safety and Health Topics Web page for employers and employees involved in the use or manufacture of engineered nanoscale materials; it highlights related OSHA standards, current and potential applications of nanotechnology, potential health effects and workplace hazard controls, and health and safety research priorities.

  • An eTool for the operation of powered industrial trucks, focusing on forklifts commonly used in general industry.

  • New sonography and MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureas) modules and updated surgical modules added to the eTool to help healthcare industry workers avoid injuries and illness.

  • Safety and Health Information Bulletins posted on OSHA's Web site on Compactor Rollover Hazards; Hazards of Transporting, Unloading, Storing and Handling Granite, Marble and Stone Slabs, and on Hazards of Using Flammable Liquids in Cutting Laminated Glass.

  • Protecting Worker Safety and Health Under the National Response Framework QuickCard, which describes OSHA resources and services available to protect worker safety and health following a disaster.

  • Safety and Health Injury Prevention Sheet on Shipfitting, which addresses the hazards of shipfitting in vessel construction and repair, and ways to avoid those hazards.

New from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)www.cdc.gov/niosh — are five new publications to enhance mining safety, as follows:

  • Collapsible Drill Steel Enclosure for Reducing Roof Bolting Machine Drilling Noise (Pub. 2008-146).

  • Engineering Controls for Reducing Continuous Mining Machine Noise (Pub. 2008-145).

  • Age Awareness Training for Miners (Pub. 2008.133).

  • Guidelines for Permitting, Construction, and Monitoring of Retention Bulkheads in Underground Coal Mines (Pub. 2008-134).

  • Keeping Knees Healthy in Restricted Work Spaces: Applications in Low-Seam Mining (Pub. 2008-130).

NIOSH also has posted on its Web site new Health and Safety Topics pages on:

  • Blind areas around construction equipment to raise awareness on the hazards of working around construction vehicles and equipment; Highway Work Zone Safety, Construction Equipment Visibility features downloadable, printable blind-area diagrams of 38 types of construction equipment.

  • Protecting outdoor workers against exposure to poisonous plants.

  • Educating workers about the risk of exposure to insects, scorpions, spiders and snakes; how to protect themselves from stings and bites, and what to do if stung or bitten.

  • Dampness and mold in buildings.

  • Building ventilation.

  • Maintaining indoor environmental quality during construction and renovation.

    Other new NIOSH communications products include:

  • Fatal Injuries among Landscape Services Workers Fact Sheet (Pub. 2008-144).

  • Workplace Solutions: Personal Protective Equipment for Health Care Workers Who Work with Hazardous Drugs (Pub. 2009-106).

  • Control of Hazardous Dust during Tuckpointing (Pub. 2008-126).

The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)www.msha.gov — has unveiled a new safety initiative designed to highlight the leading causes of mine fatalities in the 21st century. The Safety Targets Training Program will focus on addressing and eliminating the most common causes of repeat fatal accidents that occurred from 2000 to 2008. Ten train- ing modules are in development for coal and metal/nonmetal mines.

Additionally, MSHA has published final rules for underground coal mines on requiring (1) refuge alternatives and on (2) flame-resistant conveyor belts and other fire-protection measures. The refuge rule requires operators to provide alternatives to protect miners when a life-threatening event occurs that makes escape impossible. The rule concerning conveyor belts implements recommendations of a technical study panel.

New from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB)www.csb.gov — is a new 23-minute safety video, “Half an Hour to Tragedy,” based on the propane gas explosion that killed two emergency responders and two technicians at the Little General convenience story in Ghent, W.Va., in January 2007. The video's title refers to the nearly 30 minutes that elapsed between the beginning of the propane release and the moment of the explosion.

From the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM)www.acoem.com — are:

  • An updated guideline that addresses the use of contact lenses and PPE by the industrial worker, as well as informs the occupational and environmental physician of specific contact lens use standards under OSHA guidelines.

  • An updated print edition of its comprehensive publication Occupational Medicine Practice Guidelines Second Edition, featuring hundreds of new treatment recommendations for workplace injuries and diseases.

New from the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH)www.acgih.org — are webinars on a variety of urgent topics in occupational and environmental health and safety today. Topics include heat stress and strain, biological hazards in the workplace, biomonitoring, industrial ventilation systems, nanotechnology, pandemic influenza, and Threshold Limit Values®.

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE)www.asse.org — announced that the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved the reaffirmation of the ANSI Z244.1.2003 (R2008) standard, Control of Hazardous Energy — Lockout/Tagout and Alternative Methods, which aims to protect workers from energized equipment that could cause injury.

ASSE also announced the availability of the “ASSE/ANSI A10 Crane Safety Standards Package,” which contains five standards to help safety professionals conduct safe crane operations in construction and demolition operations.

From the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Americawww.agc.org — are five new safety videos on DVD. Titles include “Electrical Safety for the Construction Worker,” “Safety during Renovation & Demolition Operations,” “Personal Protective Equipment,” “Power and Hand Tool Safety” and “Housekeeping on the Jobsite: A Plan for Success.” Visit www.agc.org/bookstore, keyword “Safety.”

New from the International Council on Nanotechnology (ICON)http://icon.rice.edu — is an online tool that enables researchers to do their own analysis of research on the risks of nanomaterials. The ICON EHS Database Analysis Tool offers a way for researchers to analyze ICON's database of citations to peer-reviewed publications addressing nanomaterials' environmental, health and safety impacts. Find the database at http://icon.rice.edu/report.cfm.

New from the Skylight Council of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA)www.aamanet.org — is a “Fall Protection Position Paper,” which establishes safety procedures for minimizing risk and mitigating occurrences of falls through skylights.

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