Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Quick Tips to Help Truckers Sleep Better

NIOSH is marking Truck Driver Appreciation Week by publishing "Quick Sleep Tips for Truck Drivers." The booklet outlines the importance of sleep for truck drivers and what they can do to ensure that they get a good night’s sleep while on the road and at home. According to BLS, in 2009, truck drivers experienced 16.8% of all transportation-related fatalities and 2.04% of the nonfatal injuries requiring days away from work, even though they only made up 1.0% of the U.S. workforce.

The tips and recommendations focus on
  • improving your sleep environment;
  • preparing for better sleep;
  • what to avoid before bedtime.
“Sleep plays a critical role in our personal well-being; being on the road for long periods without getting adequate sleep may place truck drivers at higher risk for vehicle crashes, as well as create other health concerns,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “This new resource provides easy to implement solutions that will help truck drivers stay safe and well while on the job and continue their good work.”

For more information and strategies for managing sleep, visit the NIOSH Work Schedules topic page The agency also has a blog post highlighting Truck Driver Appreciation Week.

NFPA Seeks Comment On Proposed Tentative Interim Amendment to NFPA 1851

NFPA is seeking public review and comment on a proposed Tentative Interim Amendment (TIA) for NFPA 1851, Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting.
The proposed TIA No. 1160 includes the following from the 2014 edition:
·Reference: through;
·5.1.2, A.5.1.1, A. through A.;
Comments on this proposed TIA should be addressed to TIAs_Errata_FIs@nfpa.org by Oct. 14, 2014. Along with your comment, please identify the number of the TIA and forward to the secretary, Standards Council, by the closing date.

Monday, September 15, 2014

NFPA Seeks Public Review of Proposed 350 Confined Spaces Standard

NFPA Seeks Public Review of Proposed 350 Confined Spaces Standard
NFPA is seeking comment on the first draft of the NFPA 350 Confined Spaces Standard. All comments will be considered by a technical committee at the second draft meeting, planned for the first quarter of 2015. Comments can be submitted through Nov. 14, 2014.

Per NFPA, the “guide is intended to protect workers who enter into confined spaces for inspection or testing or to perform associated work from death and from life-threatening and other injuries or illnesses and to protect facilities, equipment, non–confined space personnel and the public from injuries associated with confined space incidents.”

Comments may be submitted at http://www.nfpa.org/350, with a free NFPA account.

Any individual interested in applying to the technical committee can apply online. One is not required to be a committee member or an NFPA member to be involved in the revision process. Individuals seeking to participate or with other questions on the revision should contact npearce@nfpa.org.

CSB Warning Against Use of Methanol During Lab Experiments After a Nevada Museum Fire

CBS has issued a statement urging all schools, museums and science educators to discontinue the use of methanol during laboratory and classroom combustion demonstrations. This statement follows an investigation a flash fire earlier this month at the Terry Lee Wells Discovery Museum (The Discovery) in Reno, NV.

CSB investigators spent two days examining data and reviewing safety procedures after nine people were hospitalized following the Sept. 3, 2014, flash fire at the museum. It was determined that the incident occurred during a “fire tornado” demonstration in which salts of different elements were combusted in a dish in the presence of alcohol-soaked cotton balls, while spinning on a lazy Susan-type rotating tray producing a tornado-like colored flame that rises in the air.

Methanol-soaked cotton balls where used for this version of the experiment, and when one of the cotton failed to ignite more methanol was added from a four-liter (one gallon) plastic bottle. Still likely smoldering, the cotton ball ignited the freshly added methanol and flashed back to the bottle. Burning methanol then sprayed from the bottle toward the audience of adults and children.

This incident is similar to a number of others that have occurred around the country during lab or classroom demonstrations where methanol has been used as a fuel for combustion.

Methanol readily emits heavier-than-air flammable vapors and the liquid has a low flash point, meaning it can ignite at room temperature in the presence of an ignition source. According to the agency, this creates unacceptable risk of flash fire whenever any appreciable quantities of methanol are handled in the open lab or classroom in the presence of pervasive ignition sources, such as open flames, heat sources or sparks. Flashback is another significant risk, as was the case in Reno, NV.

The recent incidents of methanol fires in schools are just one example of what can happen when lab demonstrations are used without a thorough review of the hazards or the development of robust safety procedures.

CSB Chairperson Rafael Moure-Eraso urges all schools, museums and science educators to discontinue any use of bulk methanol – or other similar flammables – in lab demonstrations that involve combustion, open flames or ignition sources. Safer alternatives exist for demonstrating the same scientific phenomena. Any use of methanol or other flammables should be either avoided completely or restricted to minimal amounts, which have been safely dispensed at remote locations. 

Visit the CSB website for more information.

Buckle Up: 75% of Car Seats Installed Wrong

Parents want to keep their kids safe in the car, but sadly, 75% of child safety seats are installed incorrectly. The Buckle Up for Life campaign, by Toyota and Cincinnati Children's Hospital, has worked for a decade to educate people about properly using car seats to keep kids safe in vehicles. A 1-minute video from the group pokes fun at parents' frustrations of installing child safety seats.

"While our new PSA takes a decidedly humorous look at installing a car seat, I think many parents would say we aren't too far off from reality," says Toyota's Latondra Newton. "I don't know anyone who has not struggled with a car seat or watched a friend or family member do the same. But the truth is that a properly installed car seat can mean the difference between life and death in a crash."