Friday, January 23, 2015

ISO 45001 Status Update

Market pressures and public demand following workplace disasters such as the Bangladesh garment factory fires and the Gulf oil spill have boosted interest in global adoption of ISO 45001, a global consensus standard for occupational health and safety management systems. ANSI’s Scott Cooper offered a compelling case about why such a standard is needed in “Improving Worker Safety in Global Supply Chains," which was published in the October 2014 issue of ASSE's Professional Safety.

ASSE also supports the project, serving as secretariat of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to ISO PC-283, which is developing the standard. However, TAG members have determined that additional work is needed before the project can advance to the next ISO stage. View the U.S. TAG’s comments on the draft standard at Based on feedback received from the participating countries, ISO PC 283 will prepare a revised draft for review. Download ASSE’s latest tech brief on the standard at

Thursday, January 22, 2015

DOT Issues Final Rule on Air Travel With Musical Instruments

U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued a final rule that requires U.S. airlines to accept musical instruments as carry-on or checked baggage on commercial passenger flights, “provided certain conditions are met.” DOT reports the final rule implements section 403 of the Federal Aviation Administration Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. “This final rule implements the statue, and it will go a long way toward keeping instruments safe when they fly—from allowing them in the cabin if there is space for safe stowage, to letting passengers buy a seat for certain large instruments,” says DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx.

DOT reports, that “musical instruments as carry-on items are treated no differently from other carry-on items and storage space should be made available for all carry-n items on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.” Also, carriers are not require to give special treatment or priority over other carry-on luggage.

For more conditions and information on the final rule, visit DOT’s website.

Cintas Offers Tips for Preventing the Spread of Illness at Work

CDC recently announced that the flu has reached epidemic levels in the U.S. due to a severe strain and a less effective flu vaccine. Increased cold and flu outbreaks result in more absences, greatly reducing productivity. To help organizations keep employees safe and healthy this flu season, Cintas Corporation offers four illness-fighting tips.

Tips for minimizing the impact of workplace illness include:

1) Clean and disinfect surfaces to remove germs. Infection prevention is key for maintaining health and safety among the workforce. Infections can spread when people touch surfaces contaminated with illness-causing pathogens. Organizations should focus on frequent cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces so that germs are removed. These surfaces include doorknobs, phones, desks, light switches and elevator buttons.

2) Follow hand hygiene rules to prevent the spread of illness. Proper hand hygiene is another important infection prevention method. Employees should be reminded to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water, or with hand sanitizer, to reduce the transmission of pathogens from one’s hands to his/her mouth or from one person to another.

3) Provide relief through well-maintained first-aid kits and cabinets. Organizations should keep first-aid kits and cabinets stocked with a variety of solutions, including individually-packaged, non-drowsy headache and pain relief, to help alleviate unpleasant aches and pains.

4) Prepare employees for increased outbreaks. Employees must be on board with infection prevention strategies. Businesses should teach workers how to reduce the spread of illnesses through proper etiquette, such as coughing and sneezing into their arms and taking medication at the first sign of illness. Manger can also remind workers where to find the first-aid cabinet and highlight some its key features.

For more information visit

ASSE's Move to Park Ridge, IL, Nears

ASSE's new headquarters office at 520 N. Northwest Highway in Park Ridge, IL (60068), is quickly rounding into shape. The move will take place in early February 2015. The new facility is 2 miles from the Society’s current location in Des Plaines, IL. Built in 1992, the three-story building has 32,000-sq-ft office space and a 10,000-sq-ft basement. Check out this video of the Society's name being installed on the sign in front of the office. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Report Details Use & Effectiveness of PAPRs in Healthcare

A new report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) summarizes presentations, discussions and outcomes of a 2014 workshop arranged to help prioritize and accelerate NIOSH activities to update certification requirements for powered air purifying respirators (PAPRs) for use in healthcare.

IOM organized this workshop at the request of the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) at NIOSH, to discuss improving PAPR design and standards, increasing education and strengthening the implementation and use of PAPRs in healthcare settings. According to the report, the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic and the recent Ebola virus outbreak highlighted the importance of PPE and raised questions about how best to ensure appropriate and effective use of PPE to reduce disease transmission.

The workshop summarizes the discussions on current standards and regulations, the experiences of healthcare and emergency response workers and the design and research needs for PAPRs intended for use by healthcare workers.

Click here to read the full workshop or download the PDF.