Monday, April 27, 2015

2015 NAOSH Week Contest Winners Announced

Winners of the NAOSH Week poster and video contests have been selected.

Group 2 First Place Winner: Devan P.
The NAOSH Student Safety Awareness Art Contest was open to children ages 5 to 12. Winning artwork was chosen based on how well each child expressed workplace safety in his/her poster. The first-place winners for each age group are:
  • Group 1 (age 5-6):
    Robert M., age 5, Jacksonville, FL; 
  • Group 2 (age 7-8):
    Devan P., age 8, Terrace, BC; 
  • Group 3 (age 9-10):
    Aman P., age 10, Terrace, BC;
  • Group 4 (age 11-12):
    Talei K., age 11, Kapolei, HI. 
The NAOSH Student Safety Awareness Safety Video Contest was open to children ages 13 to 18. Winning videos were chosen based how well each student was able to promote the benefits of occupational safety. The first-place winners for each age group are:

  • Group 1 (age 13-14): Abbi H., age 14, Madison, AL;
  • Group 2 (age 15-16): Candace N., age 16, Honolulu HI;
  • Group 3 (Age 17-18): Karley C., age 17, Westminster, MD.
This year NAOSH Week will be held May 3rd-9th. Click here to view the complete list of poster contest winners and here to view all the winning videos.

To Plan Successful Events, Plan for the Risks

In "Municipal Special Event Safety" (Professional Safety, April 2015, pp. 59), author Christopher Kittleson explains that a municipality must carefully plan special events in order to identify and control a wide range of potential hazards. Kittleson has worked with the City of North Miami on its Halloween Haunted Trail, an annual event that sees about 2,500 patrons pass through in 3 hours. Here's the basic steps that group takes to manage risk at this event.

  • Recruit volunteers.
  • Review budget and supplies (3 months prior). 
  • Consider event insurance coverage and hold harmless/indemnity agreements.
  • Clear trees, trim dead branches and evaluate pathways for clearance (1 month prior). 
  • Coordinate comprehensive structural evaluation by city engineer/building department for shop-made structures (e.g., haunted house, existing infrastructure, canal bridges) (1 month prior). 
  • Evaluate water’s edge for steepness and areas marked for fencing.
  • Mark areas for Scare Zones with paint for guidance in accordance with event plan.
  • Inspect at night to assess lighting conditions.
  • Evaluate sidewalks for slip, trip and fall hazards, and repair as required.
  • City safety officer conducts safety meeting and walkthrough to evaluate event plans on site (2 weeks prior).
  • Establish emergency evacuation locations, and identify and review exit signage and fire extinguisher stations with staff. 
  • Run through a full dress rehearsal to review Scare Zones with staff in the evening and correctly place lighting (1 week prior).
  • Conduct night training of staff and volunteers, including a full workshop on etiquette, scare tactics, safety and evacuation routes.
  • Perform final walkthrough including full lighting review/placement and evaluation of delineation of pedestrian walkways to determine whether lines are properly located as per the plan.  
  • Complete a final walkthrough (1 day prior).
  • Execute the event (day of event). 
  • Clean up and remove temporary structures (day after the event).

Find an event safety checklist on PS Extra.

New Podcast: Safety Lately

Safety Lately is a weekly podcast from ASSE, covering the latest news in OSH. The inaugural episode covers employee mental health, rulemaking for communication tower workers and proposed sea drilling regulations.

You can hear the episode here.

Like what you heard? Look for more podcasts at our multimedia page. You can also connect with ASSE on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Ringling Bros. Agrees to Improve Safety in Settlement Agreement

As part of a settlement with DOL, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus agreed to implement ongoing safety enhancements in aerial acts. The agreement concerns an OSHA citation issued in connection with last year’s incident in Providence, RI, in which eight aerialists were badly injured while performing their “Hair Hang” act. During the May 4 show, the carabiner used to support the performers failed, and they fell 15 ft to the ground, injuring a ninth employee who was struck by the falling aerialists.

The OSHA inspection determined that the carabiner was not loaded per manufacturer’s instructions. Under the settlement, the circus agrees to take several ongoing actions:
  • All new and existing aerial acts will be reviewed by a registered P.E.
  • For each act, assemble and provide to each circus unit a technical book.
  • Develop a written checklist for equipment and hardware inspections for each act.
  • Each circus unit will conduct an annual safety day that will address employee safety topics.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

MSHA Issues 2014 Preliminary Mine Safety Data

Preliminary data, released by MSHA, reveal that 44 miners died in work-related incidents in 2014, an increase of two from 2013.

Despite overall improvement in injury rates and a record setting low in coal mining fatalities,

28 miners died at metal and nonmetal mines and facilities last year, six more than the previous year. Additionally, mine contractor deaths increased to 11 in 2014 from four in 2013.

Overall, 121,646 citations and orders were issued in 2014, compared to 118,279 in 2013. According to the agency, this increase was due in part to heightened enforcement at metal and non-metal mines, where citations and orders rose by 7%. Among recent efforts to improve mine safety, MSHA has conducted inspections targeting "troubled mines,” revamped Pattern of Violations enforcement for chronic violators and, in March, the agency unveiled new web tools to help step up compliance.

MSHA is expected to release final data for 2014 in July.