NIOSH Mine Study

Researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) released a report that supports the use of in-place shelters and portable rescue chambers as alternative refuge methods for trapped underground coal miners.

The report, “Research Report on Refuge Alternatives for Underground Coal Mines,” was sent to Congress Jan. 23 as required by the 2006 Mine Improvement and Emergency Response (MINER) Act and points out that the current approach of building barricades, often from fire-resistant concrete blocks or brattice cloth, is not a viable way to keep trapped miners alive. Using chambers and shelters would be more practical as they typically can contain enough supplies and equipment to sustain life for a period of time. Shelters include safe rooms, safe havens and bulkhead-based refuge stations.

Industrial Degreaser Tied to Parkinsonism

A study conducted by University of Kentucky researchers suggests industrial workers who worked with trichloroethylene (TCE) may face a greater risk for Parkinsonism.

The university research team identified a number of industrial workers who exhibited symptoms of Parkinsonism, a group of nervous disorders with symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease. The workers experienced long-term exposure to TCE, a degreasing agent widely used in industry that also has been found in drinking water, surface water and soil due to runoff from manufacturing sites.

Return-to-Work, Overtime and Firing Correlation

Employees going back to work after being injured on the job face a higher risk of losing their employment if their positions require them to work more than 12 hours a day or 60 hours a week, new research suggests.

Researchers at Ohio State University found those who worked extended hours were 81 percent more likely to be fired and 70 percent more likely to quit than workers returning to conventional, 40-hour-week jobs. The research findings are published in the recent issue of the Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation.

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