Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition Seeks Donations for Memorial

The Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition "is spearheading the building of a public art memorial to honor the legacy of the Triangle factory workers," as it says on its website. The organization is asking for donations of $1.46 in honor of the 146 victims who died in the fire. In addition, the Coalition is hosting a Triangle Fire Memorial Design Competition, which begins this summer and invites design ideas for a vertical, urban memorial that will honor and remember those lost in the fire.

For more information or to make a donation online, visit the Coalition website.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Global Reporting Initiative to Form OHS Working Group

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), a network-based organization that pioneered the world’s most widely used sustainability reporting framework, is forming a working group for occupational health and safety. The group will examine OHS performance indicators to help build the content of the new G4 guidelines and will make recommendations on indicators for inclusion. Welcoming the GRI announcement and calling the move "a first and vital step toward raising occupational health and safety reporting standards and performance worldwide," Tom Cecich, chair of the board of directors for the Center for Safety and Health Sustainability, says, “We are delighted that GRI has formed a working group for this important subject. We very much look forward to contributing to its work program and to doing whatever we can to enhance the health and safety content of G4 guidelines.”

The recommendations on proposed OHS indicators will then be opened to public comment between August and October. CSHS encourages members of the OSH community to participate in the comment period to help shape the development of the OSH indicators.

CSHS, established in 2010, is committed to ensuring the safety, health and sustainability of the global workforce. The center engages safety and health partners around the world to establish minimum standards that help reduce workplace injuries and ill health. A collaborative effort of ASSE, AIHA and IOSH, the center represents more than 80,000 workplace safety and health professionals worldwide. Read more about CSHS's recent efforts to elevate awareness of the role of safety in sustainability on p. 17 of the May 2012 issue of Professional Safety.

OSHA Stakeholder Meeting to Determine Effectiveness of State Plans

OSHA is holding an informal stakeholder meeting to gather information on the effectiveness of State Plans. The agency encourages states to develop and operate their own workplace safety and health plans, and as a condition of OSHA approval, State Plans must provide standards and enforcement programs that are “at least as effective as” the federal OSHA program.  Currently there are 27 state occupational safety and health plans.

For those interested, the meeting will be held June 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the U.S. Department of Labor. To participate or be a nonparticipating observer, individuals must submit a notice of intent electronically no later than June 11. Interested parties may also submit written comments.  

Thursday, May 24, 2012

CPSC 2012 Pool Safely Campaign Focuses on At-Risk Populations

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has launched its third annual campaign, Pool Safely: Simple Steps Save Lives, a national public education campaign. This year's campaign focuses on those with the highest risk of drowning, including children under 5, who represent almost 75% of child drowning fatalities, and African American and Hispanic children ages 5 to 14. Data show that 70% of African-American children and 62% of Hispanic children cannot swim.

The campaign works with U.S. partners to reduce drownings, near-drownings and entrapment incidents in swimming pools and spas. Parents and caregivers are urged to visit the Pool Safely website for important pool and spa safety information. CPSC has also published related reports: Pool and Spa Submersions 2012 and Circulation/Suction Entrapments 2012.

USDA Offers Grilling Tips to Ensure Food Safety

Memorial Day is around the corner, and some may celebrate with family meals, outdoor parties and/or barbecues. USDA offers helpful reminders for the safe handling, preparation and cooking of food. As the agency says, " . . . it's important to follow food safety guidelines to prevent harmful bacteria from multiplying and causing foodborne illness." The website provides tips from buying the food, how to thoroughly cook it, and how to properly reheat and serve.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

OSHA FAQs for Cranes and Derricks Standard

In an effort to keep OSHA cooperative program participants informed, the agency has posted an updated set of Frequently Asked Questions on its revised standard on cranes and derricks in construction.  There are now 50 FAQs covering a variety of issues, such as the applicability of the standard,  how the new rule differs from the old rule, operator certification/qualification, crane inspections, material delivery, rigger qualification and signal person qualification. For more information, see the OSHA Cranes and Derricks in Construction Final Rule Web page.  

Bus Safety Inspections Ensure Passenger Safety

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) teamed with state and local law enforcement to conduct bus safety inspections across 13 states and the District of Columbia. The week-long initiative included inspections of tour buses, school buses, motor coaches and other commercial passenger buses. FMCSA says the inspections are part of its effort to protect passengers and raise the bar for bus safety. 

According to the agency, the process included law enforcement officers who checked for mechanical problems and also checked the drivers to ensure that they were operating in full compliance. “Safety is our highest priority,” says U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Especially during the peak spring and summer travel seasons, we are working hard to remove any bus or driver that places passengers and other motorists at risk on the road.”

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Study Finds States With Low Nonfatal Injuries Have High Fatality Rates & Vice Versa

According to a new study from RAND Corp., states that report low numbers of nonfatal injuries among construction workers tend to have high rates of fatal injuries. For states with low fatality rates, the converse is true: they tend to report higher numbers of nonfatal injuries. The study was published in the April issue of the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.

"We were surprised by the relationship between fatal and nonfatal injuries," says John Mendeloff, the study's lead author and director of the RAND Center for Health and Safety in the Workplace. "One key factor influencing injury trends seems to be the scope of benefits offered by a state's workers' compensation program, but that explains only part of what we found."

Mendeloff says some might argue that the fatal and nonfatal injury rates should not be linked together because many causes of death are different than the causes of nonfatal injuries. However, he says few would have expected that the rates would be inversely related.

Mendeloff says the study demonstrates that it makes a great deal of difference which outcome measure is used to assess safety and health. Because fatality rates are measured quite accurately, the findings suggest that states reporting low nonfatal rates and high fatality rates are probably underreporting the former. Further, the study suggests that reporting more injuries may be a sign of a better worker safety program.

Monday, May 21, 2012

FAA Introduces New Child Safety Website

A new website from Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) educates the public on how to keep children safe while flying. The agency's overall message is that children should be secured in a child safety restraint system (CRS) or device while flying, as opposed to having them sit in an adult's lap. The website offers safety tips, how to choose the right CRS, how to install a CRS in an airplane seat, FAA-approved harnesses, graphics and additional information.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Liberty Mutual Presents 2012 Best Paper Award

Paul Schepers (right)
accepts the 2012 Liberty
Mutual Award from Jon
Berman (left), president of
the Institute of Ergonomics
and Human Factors.
Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety has presented the 2012 Liberty Mutual Best Paper Award to a research team from The Netherlands for the scientific paper, "What Do Cyclists Need to See to Avoid Single-Bicycle Crashes?" The award promotes excellence in safety and health research, and recognizes contributions to the advancement of ergonomics.

Published in the April 2011 issue of Ergonomics (Vol. 54, No. 4, pp. 315-327), the paper discusses a study that examined visual characteristics of cycling facilities, such as pavement markings on bicycle paths, in an effort to improve cycling safety. 

"The winning paper was selected for making a major contribution in its field," says Roger Haslam, coordinating editor of Ergonomics. "The investigation represents a significant advancement for contemporary ergonomics. In particular, the editors considered the work to be an important and innovative study addressing cycling safety. We were impressed with the use of mixed methodologies, including a new approach to analyzing the visual characteristics of crash locations."

OSHA Plans to Create Whistleblower Protection Committee

OSHA recently announced that it wants to create a Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee that would "advise, consult with and make recommendations to the secretary of labor and the assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health on ways to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and transparency of OSHA's administration of whistleblower protections." In a press release, the agency says that the committee also would advise OSHA on developing and implementing better customer service models, enforcement processes, training methods and regulations. 

"Workers who expose securities and financial fraud, adulterated foods, air and water pollution, or workplace safety hazards have a legal right to speak out without fear of retaliation, and the laws that protect these whistleblowers also protect the health, safety and well-being of all Americans," says OSHA Administrator David Michaels. "Establishing a federal advisory committee is another important effort to strengthen protections for whistleblowers."

NIOSH Papers on the Benefits of Health Programs

"The health and well-being of working people and their families are greatly influenced by the quality of their work environments, whether resulting directly from exposures to physical hazards on the job and risks associated with the organizational context, or indirectly through the impact of work on health behaviors.”  

This excerpt is from the preface of NIOSH’s recently published document, The ResearchCompendium: The NIOSH Total Worker Health Program: Seminal Research Papers 2012, which shows why extended research on the benefits of integrated programs can improve the health of workers and workplaces. Made up of a compilation of three commissioned papers from NIOSH’s 2004 conference, Steps to a Healthier Workforce Symposium, the report is widely cited and is considered seminal writing on the science and practice of integrating health protection and health promotion. Limited copies of this document will also soon be available in print. For more information on NIOSH initiatives, visit their site at

Thursday, May 17, 2012

NIOSH to Survey Workplace Stress

According to a notice in the May 15 Federal Register, NIOSH is developing a telephone survey to learn more about workplace stress and how it affects ethnic and racial minorities, as reported in the Occupational Safety & Health Reporter. The information will help analyze the degree in which minority and nonminority workers are exposed to job stressors, how the stress impacts safety and health, and additional factors that protect these workers from stress.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Workplace Wellness Initiatives Increase

More now than ever American employers are offering wellness initiatives, such as flu shots, health screenings and weight management programs that improve the lives of their employees, according to the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. Their recent survey, Wellness Programs and Value-Based Health Care, measured responses from the foundation’s wide-ranging members showing that the prevalence of wellness programs has grown significantly over the past 10 years. Nearly 60% of American employers have been implementing new wellness programs since 2008, while about 24% have started offering them since 2010. The survey found that the wellness initiatives with the highest participation rates are:
  • Flu shot programs (49.6%)
  • Health screenings (48.8%)
  • Health risk assessments (48.2%)
  • Health fairs (44.7%)
According to the survey, most organizations have added wellness initiatives to help workers enjoy better overall physical health and to control health care costs. For every $1 spent on wellness initiatives, most organizations get about $1 to $3 decreases in their overall health care costs. For more information, click here

Summer Jobs+ Initiative Is Ready for Youths

U.S. Department of Labor's Summer Jobs+ Bank is now available. The agency says it will continue to add information as it is available, but that youths can start their search to find job opportunities that interest them.

Summer Jobs+ calls government, non-profits and businesses to provide job opportunities for low-income and disconnected youth during the summer of 2012. Employers can choose to help by providing life skills, work skills or a learn-and-earn approach.
  • Life skills entails providing soft skills, such as communication or time management, through coursework and mentoring.
  • Work skills involves providing job shadowing opportunities and internships that will help prepare youths for employment.
  • The learn-and-earn approach provides on-the-job skills in learning environments while earning wages.

LIA Publishes New Laser Safety Standard

A new standard is available from Laser Institute of America (LIA), ANSI Z136.8, American National Standard for Safe Use of Lasers in Research, Development or Testing. According to LIA, which serves as secretariat of the Z136 series of laser safety standards, the standard arose from increasing reliance on lasers in labs and other research-designated areas. The standard was crafted to distinguish it from the parent document (Z136.1) by detailing different laser-use locations, as well as noting two additional hazard analysis areas, beam path and beam interaction.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

NTSB to Hold Aviation Safety Forum

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will hold a 2-day forum on safety issues related to general aviation, "General Aviation Safety: Climbing to the Next Level," June 19-20, 2012, in Washington, DC. The forum will address key safety issues such as pilot training and performance, pilot access to and use of weather-related information, and aircraft design and certification. The forum is open to the public and free of charge, and will also be available via webcast on the NTSB website.

Calling All Youths: Submit Video for Sustainability Challenge

As the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Conference on Sustainability Development meeting, now known as Rio+20, which will take place June 20-22, 2012, nears, the Obama Administration encourages America's youth to enter the Youth Sustainability Challenge. To participate, youths must submit a video explaining what they are doing in their homes, schools or places of work to help foster sustainable communities and create an America that's built to last. If your video wins, you will be invited to a White House event.

View the video to learn more about the challenge.

Safety in Construction Zones

In honor of National Transportation Week, ASSE caught up with RoadSafe Senior VP Kathi Holst to learn how workers and motorists can stay safe in construction zones.
·         Construction Workers: Always be aware of your surroundings. Have a co-worker on guard if you ever have to turn your back toward traffic (which should be minimal). Become familiar with work zones and always have an escape path. Since many accidents occur between workers, be aware of other workers and of your surroundings. Use safety devices on your vehicle, such as back-up alarms and strobe lights. If you will be moving a vehicle, always make sure that you actually walk around the vehicle before you get in and move it. Don’t become desensitized to hazards.
·         Motorists: Respect the fact that construction workers are people. This is their place of employment, and we need to make sure that every employee goes home at the end of a shift in the same condition that they arrived in the morning. Slow down and pay close attention to signs and advanced warnings. Even if it is the same route you take everyday, do not become complacent. Construction could have changed overnight so be aware of message boards and pay attention. And always be prepared to stop.
For more on traffic safety, click here

Monday, May 14, 2012

Miners Must Phase Out Particular Self Rescue Device

In conjunction with OSHA and NIOSH, MSHA announced that mine operators must start to phase out the use of SR-100 self-contained self-rescuers (SCSRs) that are manufactured by CSE Corp. due to an investigation that found the units do not conform to safety requirements. "Due to the large number of CSE SR-100s in underground coal mines, multiple SCSRs available to miners, the low probability of failure and the shortage of immediately available replacements, MSHA and NIOSH have determined that an orderly phase-out will better protect the safety of miners than immediate withdrawal of the devices," says MSHA's Joseph A. Main.

According to MSHA, mine operators are required to replace the units "with any other approved 1-hour SCSR, those SR-100s that are worn or carried by miners and stored on mantrips" by April 26, 2013. The entire phase out must be completed by Dec. 31, 2013.

Additional information can be found on MSHA's CSE-SR-100 source page.

National Research Council Reports on Bayer's Chemical Hazard Control

According to a report from National Research Council, Bayer CropScience sought to reduce risks associated with the manufacture and storage of methyl isocyanate (MIC) at its Institute, WV, processing plant, but the company did not make an effort to incorporate all possible hazard control methods. The Committee on Inherently Safer Chemical Processes, which wrote the report, recommends that U.S. Chemical Safety Board develop a framework to help chemical plant managers choose among alternative processing options to develop a safer chemical manufacturing system.

The 2008 explosion at the WV Bayer plant resulted in the deaths of two employees. Debris from the blast hit the shield surrounding an MIC storage tank. The storage container avoided damage, but a CSB investigation found that debris could have struck a relief valve vent pipe, which would have released MIC into the atmosphere. Bayer has since ceased production at the plant.

DOT Reduces Traffic Sign Deadlines

The DOT has announced a final rule eliminating dozens of deadlines for replacing traffic signs. According to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, the Obama Administration is removing 46 regulations on traffic signs to provide more flexibility for state and local governments. This will permit communities to replace traffic signs when they are worn out rather than requiring that they be replaced by a specific date. "Officials at the state and local levels are in the best position to make decisions related to sign replacement and other issues related to traffic management," says Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. "These changes will give them the flexibility they need to make the best use of taxpayer dollars." For more information, click here

Management Guru Tom Peters on Office Hours Today, Monday, May 14

Management guru Tom Peters, coauthor of the groundbreaking In Search of Excellence and viewed by many as the father of the post-modern corporation, will be Dan Pink's guest today on Office Hours, a 60-minute live chat that includes listeners questions. According to Dan, author of the best-selling Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, "Nobody has done more to get people thinking--and thinking big--about work, leadership and innovation than Tom Peters."

Today's Office Hours conversation begins at 2pm EDT. Dan promises to talk with Tom about the state of the economy and the new rules of work, as well as Peters's Excellence Now series of presentations. To participate, call (703) 344-2171 and enter passcode 203373.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Workplace Emergency Preparedness

Preparing the workplace for an emergency is critical to employee safety, reduced damage to buildings and a quick recovery of operations. According to CCOHS, employers should develop an emergency plan, share it with their employees, test and review it regularly, and revise it as necessary to reflect any changes that have occurred in plant infrastructure, processes, materials used and key personnel. The emergency plan should include:
  • All possible emergencies, consequences, required actions, written procedures and the resources available;
  • Detailed lists of personnel including home telephone numbers, duties and responsibilities;
  • Floor plans and large scale maps showing evacuation routes and service conduits (such as gas and water lines).
CCOHS suggests conducting a vulnerability assessment to determine which technological (chemical or physical) and natural hazards pose a threat. Then determine the likeliness that the threat will occur, the impact it will make and how to prevent it from happening. Involving others in the planning process and clearly defining the chain of command for reporting the emergency and activating the emergency plan are recommended as well. Specific safe locations for staff to gather for head counts are also essential, CCOHS says. For information on emergency preparedness, click here.  

Today Is the Last Day to Receive a Discount on Safety 2012

The last chance to receive a discount on Safety 2012 registration ends today, May 11. Registrations must be postmarked by today to receive the discounted rate; any forms or calls received after today will receive the on-site rate. To register, you also can call ASSE Customer Service at +1 (847) 699-2929; register online; or download the registration form and fax to +1 (847) 768-3434.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

DOT Report Shows Improved Energy Efficiency

DOT's May 2012 report, "Ensuring Efficient and Reliable Transportation Choices for Customers," highlights improvements made in energy efficiency, the environment and costs of transportation modes. The report discusses new policies, actions and accomplishments, such as enhancing reliable infrastructure, reducing time and cost for transportation construction, and improving passenger vehicle fuel efficiency.

Healthy Workplaces Film Award 2012

EU-OSHA presents its fourth annual Healthy Workplaces Film Award, which will be presented this fall at the International Leipzig Festival. The film should shine light on on-the-job risks, workers’ rights, workplace health and safety, or the effects of political and economic change on the way work is done. The winner will receive 8.000 €, and as an added bonus, 1,000 copies of the winning film will be produced and distributed across Europe. Directors are invited to submit their films by July 10, 2012. For rules and submissions, click here.  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

CDC Program for Healthy Worksites

The CDC has a new National Healthy Worksite Program (NHWP) designed to help employers implement health and wellness strategies to reduce chronic disease rates, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, obesity, arthritis and diabetes. NHWP will help an estimated 70 to 100 small, mid-size and large employers create and expand workplace programs aimed at achieving the following goals: 
  • Reduce the risk of chronic disease among employees and their families through evidence-based workplace health interventions and promising practices. 
  • Promote sustainable and replicable workplace health activities. 
  • Promote peer-to-peer healthy business mentoring
The program will provide employers and interested organizations nationwide access to worksite health training and resources beginning in summer 2012. For more information, click here

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Backing and Parking Course for Utility and Service Fleets

DRIVING DYNAMICS has introduced a new behind-the-wheel training program on backing and parking for utility and service fleets. “In consulting with service and utility fleets, we became aware that backing and parking is one of their biggest pain points and an inordinate amount of incidents occur here,” says Tom Harley, executive vice president of training services. “Multiple stops each day contribute to this factor but fleets are also experiencing a rising severity rate related to these backing and parking incidents.” The instructional design of the course includes online, classroom and hands-on training so drivers can amp up their proficiency in safety techniques and hazard recognition. For more information, click here.  

School Flag Program Notifies Community on Air Quality

EPA's School Flag Program helps spread air quality awareness to the community. Daily air quality conditions are color coded to match levels to the Air Quality Index, and depending on which color flag is flying, the community knows the level of air pollution for that day. Here are the colors and the air quality they represent:
  • green: good air quality;
  • yellow:  moderate;
  • orange: unhealthy for sensitive groups (e.g., children and those with asthma);
  • red: unhealthy for everyone;
  • purple: air quality is very unhealthy and sensitive groups should avoid outdoor exertion, and everyone else should limit outdoor exertion.
The School Flag Program website provides a fact sheet, information on how to order flags and additional resources for schools, teachers and students. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

NFPA Shares Tips for Avoiding Electrical Fires

An estimated 46,500 home structure fires reported to the U.S. fire departments in 2010 were the result of electrical failures or malfunctions. These fires caused 420 deaths, 1,520 injuries and $1.5 billion in direct property damage, according to the NFPA’s Home Electrical Fires Report. In honor of National Electrical Safety Month, NFPA offers the following electrical safety tips:
  • Replace damaged or loose electrical cords. 
  • Avoid running extension cords across doorways or under carpets. 
  • Make sure your home has tamper-resistant receptacles if there are small children. 
  • Consider having additional circuits or outlets added by a qualified electrician so you do not have to use extension cords. 
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions for plugging an appliance into a receptacle outlet. 
  • Avoid overloading outlets. Plug only one high-wattage appliance into each receptacle outlet at a time. 
  • If outlets or switches feel warm, frequent problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuits, or flickering or dimming lights, call a qualified electrician. 
  • Place lamps on level surfaces away from things that can burn. Use bulbs that match the lamp's recommended wattage. 
  • Make sure your home has ground fault circuit interrupters in the kitchen, bathroom(s), laundry, basement and outdoor areas. 
  • Arc-fault circuit interrupters should be installed in your home to protect electrical outlets. 
  • When you are buying, selling or remodeling a home, have it inspected by a qualified electrician.
For more information on electrical safety, watch a video here

CPSC Reminds Public of Portable Pool Safety

With the summer months soon arriving, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is warning the public to be aware of possible dangers that portable pools may have. As the agency's website says, "Portable pools are affordable, transportable, but can be just as dangerous as any other pool." The agency receives about 35 reports of deaths of children under age 5 each year in portable pools. Pool drownings can be prevented; parents and pool owners can check out pool safety resources at Pool Safely's website.

CPSC offers these basic tips to encourage pool safety:
  • Never leave children unsupervised near any pool.
  • Install door alarms that alert you when someone leaves the house and enters the pool area.
  • Install a fence or barrier around portable pools.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

DuPont Launches Dirty Work Photo Contest

DuPont just launched its 2nd annual DuPont Tyvek Dirty Work Photo Contest. Industrial workers in North America are invited to submit photos of themselves wearing DuPont Tyvek “at their dirtiest and grimiest best.”

“Every day, millions of workers throughout North America get themselves dirty as they work on some of industry’s messiest jobs, particularly in oil and gas, environment and automotive,” says DuPont’s Dave Kee.  “This is our tribute to the many people who use DuPont Tyvek protective apparel to keep safe and clean while doing their jobs.”

Visit the contest website to browse photos of last year’s winners and information about the contest.

Parents Central Website Focuses on Kids' Safety in Cars

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Parents Central website is a resource to help keep kids safe in and around cars. The site is organized into topic sections that are titled: Car Seats; At the Wheel, In and Around the Car; and On the Move. The site also includes instructional videos for installing car seats, a car seat inspection station locator, information on current NHTSA campaigns and much more. The agency encourages users to check the site frequently, as it will continually add information and updates.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hand Tool Safety

Workers who use hand tools not only risk getting cuts and bruises, but also face a bevy of hazards such as soreness, aches, pains and fatigue. In fact, the frequent and prolonged use of hand tools can lead to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) of various kinds, including carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis. Long periods of tense or motionless muscles, awkward work positions, tissue compression and tool vibrations all can affect the health and performance of hand tool users. CCOHS presents tips for avoiding MSDs when working with these devices:
  1. Change body positions to distribute the workload over different parts of the body and to give overused muscles some relief and recovery time.
  2. Work at a safe pace.
  3. Take rest breaks and work breaks.
  4. Take time to adjust when returning to work after a long absence or when starting a new job.
  5. Train workers on the safe use of tools and on the hazards involved in working with them.
According to CCOHS, a hand tool must decrease the physical demands placed on the people using the tool in order to be ergonomically effective. Click here for more information.  

A Look Back at Distracted Driving Awareness Month

The April 2012 issue of Professional Safety highlighted National Distracted Driving Awareness Month with information on some things that the various U.S. DOT agencies are doing to reduce the incidence of this growing hazard. The issue also included information on the guidance documents for employers and individuals from the ASSE Transportation Practice Specialty.

In a recent article in the Chicago Tribune, Phil Rosenthal takes a look back at the course of distracted driving, where it’s come from and where it’s headed. It offers an interesting retrospective on how technology, regulations and consumerism have developed over the years.

The April 2012 issue of Society Update asked readers, “Does your company use technology (software, hardware, service, etc.) that prevents the use of cell phones while driving on the job?” Nearly 68% of respondents answered “No, we do not use this technology and have no plans to do so.”

Now that the month of April has come to a close, take a look back at this year’s National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and let us know your thoughts. From your seat as an EHS professional, do you think the public is more aware of the problem? Does more need to be done?

Guidelines and regulations are still developing. How far should government go in restricting drivers? How much of the onus should be on auto or cell phone manufacturers, and how much on the individual?

What about other forms of distraction? As Rosenthal says, “phones are just the most obvious form of distraction.” Is too much emphasis being placed on cell phones, and not enough on other forms of distraction?

To read Rosenthal’s complete article, click here. Share your thoughts on the EHS Works blog in the comments field below.