Thursday, February 28, 2013

OSHA Schedules Special Meeting for Advisory Committee on Construction Safety & Health

A special meeting for the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH) has been scheduled for March 18, 2013. OSHA reports, "ACCSH will consider a proposed rule to update OSHA's standard on accident prevention signs and tags in construction." In addition, the committee will consider proposed amendments to OSHA's cranes and derricks standards. The meeting will be open to the public, and comments and requests to speak should be submitted by March 8.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

GHSA Reports Increase in Deaths Among 16- and 17-year-old Drivers

A report from Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) shows a dramatic increase in deaths of teen drivers for the first half of 2012, based on preliminary data. During that period, deaths of 16- and 17-year-old drivers increased by 19% from 202 to 240.

According to the report, deaths of 16-year-old drivers increased from 86 to 107 (24%), while the number for 17-year-old drivers went from 116 to 133 (15%). Twenty-five states reported increases, 17 had decreases, and 8 states and the District of Columbia reported no change in the number of 16- and 17-year-old driver deaths.

“Any increase in highway deaths is unacceptable, particularly among our teens,” says GHSA Chair Kendell Poole. “We know from research and experience that teen drivers are not only a danger to themselves, but also a danger to others on the roadways. So these numbers are a cause for concern.”

Web Series Promotes Learning, Remembering, and Healing

Midway Pictures, in Partnership with Tyco, have released the first episode in a new seven-part documentary web series, "The Station." The first episode premiered Wednesday on the 10th anniversary of the 2003 Station nightclub fire, the fourth deadliest fire in the nation's history. 

"The Station" tells the stories of individuals directly affected by the tragedy, including survivors, family members of individuals who perished in the fire, first responders and hospital specialists who treated burn victims.

According to "The Station" director David Bettencourt, the purpose of the project is captured by its straightforward tagline: "Learn. Remember. Heal."

The episode is available for free on the project's website,, and YouTube channel, Subsequent episodes will be posted every Wednesday through April 3rd. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

EPA Issues 2012 Chemical Data Reporting Information

EPA has released its 2012 Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) information. The agency reports that the CDR information covers more than 7,600 chemicals. In addition to evaluating chemical exposure information, "The CDR data also highlight the clear need for Toxic Substances Control Act reform," says former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. "Updating this critical law will ensure that EPA has access to the tools and resources it needs to quickly and effectively assess potentially harmful chemicals, and safeguard the health of families across the country."

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Prevention Through Design Virtual Symposium Starts Tomorrow

ASSE's Prevention Through Design (PTD) Virtual Symposium is scheduled for Feb. 20-21, 2013. The virtual event has many learning objectives, all which aim to provide the knowledge for participants to start using PTD within their own organization. Learning objectives include identifying methods for aligning a risk assessment process to a PTD process; how to avoid common mistakes within a PTD process; how serious injury prevention fits into a PTD process; and much more.

Registered attendees will receive one free electronic copy of ANSI/ASSE Z590.3-2011, and have access to session slides, bonus video content and additional resources.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Study Finds Gaps in OSH Sustainability Reporting

A study by Center for Safety and Health Sustainability (CSHS) reveals gaps and a lack of transparency in occupational health and safety (OHS) sustainability reporting among organizations rated highly for sustainability performance. The study, “Current Practices in Occupational Health and Safety Sustainability Reporting,” also raises concerns about ranking methodology, as some corporations reported more than 10 work-related fatalities in a year, with one organization reporting 49 in the same period. The study further concludes that even when relevant information is reported, corporate OSH performance is difficult to interpret, compare and analyze due to a lack of uniformity in data collection and clarity over reporting methods and metrics.

“Our research showed, for example, that the companies surveyed used six different formulas to calculate injury rate overall and at least 15 different methods were used to define ‘a report-worthy injury or incident,’” says CSHS Chair Tom Cecich. “Current OSH sustainability reporting practices make it difficult for stakeholders and investors to understand and evaluate the extent of an organization’s commitment to OSH management.” U.K.-based CSHS Director Steve Granger concludes, “It’s hard to believe that organizations can report double-digit fatalities and still be on a list of the 100 most sustainable companies. Clearly, the methodology for rating sustainability performance must be overhauled.”

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Time for Silica Standard Is Now

National Council for Occupational Safety and Health is calling on the Obama Administration to push through the long-delayed standard on occupational exposure to crystalline silica. The rule has been languishing in the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for two years.

“American workers cannot afford to wait for the federal government to enact this commonsense rule,” says Tom O’Connor, executive director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health. “Each day that the federal government stalls, workers are needlessly exposed to dangerous levels of silica dust, which is one of the oldest known causes of work-related lung disease.”

In 2011, ASSE urged OIRA to move the rulemaking forward. In its letter to the agency, ASSE called particular attention to the fact that the continued delays is preventing OSHA from engaging ASSE members and all stakeholders in a meaningful and fully open discussion about how best to advance a new silica standard.

Find additional information on occupational exposure to silica from NIOSH here and from OSHA here.

CSB and Cal/OSHA Releases Technical Report on Chevron 2012 Pipe Rupture and Fire

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) and the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) released a technical evaluation report on piping samples taken from the Chevron Refinery in Richmond, California, where a hydrocarbon release and massive fire occurred on August 6, 2012.

The report, performed by Anamet, Inc., provides the following conclusions:

1. Rupture of the 8-inch 4-sidecut resulted from wall thinning caused by sulfidation corrosion.
2. Post rupture corrosion destroyed fracture morphology that could have indicated the rupture initiation site. However, rupture likely originated in the thinnest region and initially followed a longitudinal path driven by the hoop stress. Consequently, an area of likely rupture initiation was identified.
3. The wall thickness of the ruptured section was less than all the other sections of the 8-inch 4-sidecut that were evaluated.
4. Chemical analysis showed the silicon concentration of the ruptured section was 0.01-wt%.
5. Six of twelve specimens (50%) from unique sections of the 8-inch 4-sidecut, 12-inch 4-sidecut, and 2011 12-inch samples were found by chemical analysis to have a silicon concentration of less than 0.1-wt%.
6. Deformation of a small region of the 8-inch 4-sidecut rupture edge was consistent with mechanical force applied from the outside surface of the pipe, possibly from a fire pike, such as samples E-099 and E-082-2, or other pointed object. This deformed region was located within the area of likely rupture initiation.

The CSB investigation to determine the root causes of the incident is ongoing. The CSB will release a report detailing its findings and recommendations to key stakeholders later this year. Cal/OSHA has already issued 25 citations and civil penalties of $963,000. Chevron has announced it will appeal these citations. The CSB, Cal/OSHA, the USW, and Chevron are cooperating under an agreement to test 4-sidecut carbon steel piping from Chevron’s refinery in El Segundo, California, south of Los Angeles.

NAOSH Week Kids' Poster Contest Entries Due Today

Entries for ASSE's 11th Annual Safety-on-the-Job kids' poster contest are due today.

Children ages 5 to 14 are invited to submit their poster that best represents the importance of staying safe at work. Prizes are awarded for first through fourth place in each age group; first-place posters will be featured on the official NAOSH Week 2013 poster and on ASSE’s website.

Ten Terms Everyone Should Know About Mats

Crown Mats and Matting, now celebrating its 70th year of manufacturing mats in the U.S., would like to share its “Ten Terms Everyone Should Know about Mats.”

These terms refer to different types of mats used in commercial facilities and, according to Business Development Head JoAnne Boston, are often misunderstood by both cleaning professionals and facility managers.

1.    High-Performance: High-performance mats are designed to last 3 to 5 years withstanding very heavy foot traffic.
2.    Wiper: Wiper mats are placed inside the doors of a facility to absorb any remaining moisture and soil on a walker’s shoes.
3.    Scraper: Scraper mats are placed outside a facility and are intended to aggressively scrape soil and debris from shoe bottoms.
4.    Wiper/Scraper: Wiper/scraper mats wipe and dry shoe bottoms and are placed following a scraper mat but before a wiper mat.
5.    Ergonomic: Ergonomic mats offer a combination of softness (give) and support (resilience) to help reduce worker fatigue.
6.    Anti-Fatigue: Anti-fatigue mats offer even greater comfort, bounce, and support to help increase worker productivity and decrease pain, injuries, and soreness.
7.    Anti-static: Anti-static mats are designed to help reduce static electricity.
8.    Non-conductive: Non-conductive mats help insulate and protect workers from serious shocks that can be generated by high voltage.
9.    Specialty: Something of a catch-all, this terms refers to a variety of different matting products, for instance, a mat placed under a chair to protect the floor below, a gym mat, even a meditation mat.
10.    Bi-level: Bi-level mats store soil and water below shoe level for later removal. This prevents contaminants from being transferred onto floor surfaces.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

New White Paper on the Use of Predictive Analytics in Workplace Safety

Predictive Solutions Corp., an Industrial Scientific company, has released a new white paper entitled, “Nate Silver, Billy Beane, and Alex Trebek: Making the Case for Predictive Analytics in Workplace Safety,” as a resource for those looking to learn how leading safety professionals are making the case to employ predictive models in their workplace safety program.

The paper discloses results from companies implementing the practice within their safety functions, including reduced lost work day rates, incident rates, and costs rates, and summarizes research by Predictive Solutions and Carnegie Mellon University in the development of powerful safety analytics and prediction models.

However, as the paper concludes, advanced and predictive analytics is only part of  a workplace safety program and does not replace safety professionals, but rather extend their knowledge, increase their analysis power, and help direct the use of their often scarce resources.

Learn more here.

Announcing the Preliminary Results From IPAFs 2012 Accident Database

Preliminary results of IPAF’s accident database reported 31 fatalities involving mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs), also known as aerial work platforms (AWPs), in 2012.

About two-thirds of the fatalities occurred in the USA, three fatalities were reported in the Netherlands, two in the UK, and one each in Australia, Austria, Canada, Singapore, Spain, and Switzerland.

However, IPAF CEO Tim Whiteman remains optimistic, saying, “The first year of the accident reporting project is producing significant results and is allowing us to both improve our training programs and focus our safety campaigns to make this safe industry even safer. There are over 1.5 million MEWPs/AWPs in use around the world, and while every death is a tragedy, powered access is still a very safe way to work at height.”

Data gathered enable IPAF to analyze and look for common trends, and propose possible actions to further improve and promote the safe use of powered access worldwide. Data collected is kept confidential and used solely for the purposes of analysis and making recommendations to improve safety.

For more information or to report an known accident involving MEWPs and MCWPs please visit

Bridgestone Americas Releases Student-Made PSAs to Encourage Safe Driving Among Teens

Bridgestone Americas, along with the U.S. Department of Transportation, announces the release of safe driving PSAs created by teenagers in the 2012 Teens Drive Smart Video Contest. The Bridgestone program encourages teens to create videos aimed to influence their peers to make smart, and responsible driving decisions.

The PSAs will be distributed to TV stations across the country in hopes of boosting awareness and letting young drivers know that the importance of their driving decisions.
For more information about the Teens Drive Smart program and to view the PSAs produced by students, please visit  For more information about what the U.S. Department of Transportation is doing to eliminate distracted driving, please visit

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Spot The Signs Of A Stroke

Every 40 seconds in the U.S., a stroke occurs, and Ad Council research shows that 28% of Americans wouldn’t recognize the signs. American Heart Association (AHA) and American Stroke Association (ASA) have joined with the Ad Council to launch their first national multimedia public service campaign to raise awareness about F.A.S.T., an acronym for recognizing and responding to the sudden warning signs of stroke.

F.A.S.T. is:
  • Face Drooping - Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
  • Arm Weakness - Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?        
  • Speech Difficulty - Is speech slurred? Is he or she unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like "the sky is blue." Is the sentence repeated correctly?
  • Time to call 9-1-1 - If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get him or her to the hospital immediately.

    For more information on the campaign and how to recognize the signs of a stroke visit:

Call for Nominations: 2013 BCSP Awards of Excellence

BCSP is accepting nominations for its 2013 Awards of Excellence, which will be presented during Safety 2013 in Las Vegas, NV. The awards recognize CHSTs, OHSTs and CSPs who are at the top of their profession and best represent leadership, expertise and a commitment to advancing the SH&E profession. Nominations are due Feb. 28, 2013.

Monday, February 11, 2013

OSHA reminds employers to post injury and illness summaries

OSHA is reminding employers to post OSHA Form 300A between Feb. 1 and April 30, 2013.
The summary should be made visible for all employees and must include the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses from 2012 logged on the OSHA Form 300, Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses.

In certain industries, employers with 10 or fewer employees and employers are exempt from federal OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping and posting requirements. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics may still select exempted employers to participate in an annual statistical survey. A complete list of exempt industries can be found at

Copies of OSHA Forms 300 and 300A are available at For more information on recordkeeping requirements, visit the OSHA Injury and Illness Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements Web page.

ANSI Student Paper Competition Deadline Is April 15

ANSI's 2013 Student Paper Competition is an opportunity for students to demonstrate their knowledge and critical thinking skills concerning standards. This year's theme is "Standards and Emerging Technology Decisions: What Role Do Standards Play in Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity?" Students should provide specific examples of how standards have been or could have been effectively used following a disaster or other emergency situation.

The submission deadline is April 15, 2013, and winners will be announced mid-May. First-, second- and third-place winners will be awarded $2,500, $1,000 and $500, respectively.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Improving Small Business Safety

In his article, “Safety & Small Business,” from the latest issue of the Management Practice Specialty’s online technical publication The Compass, Herb Maxey maintains that most small business owners want to have a safe workplace but do not know how nor do they feel that they have the time or resources to develop a legal and comprehensive safety program.

He says that before safety professionals can find solutions for small business, they must be able to balance need with available resources. They also must be able to help small businesses understand the difference between needed regulation and excess regulation when it comes to OSHA compliance.

Do you own or work for a small business? If so, what tips do you have for developing an effective safety program that is OSHA-compliant?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Vote in the 2012 Readers' Choice Poll

What was your favorite Professional Safety article that was published in 2012? Vote in the Professional Safety Readers' Choice poll and voice your opinion.

It's a chance for you to be the judge. Results will be announced in March 2013, so vote today.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Door Safety

Doors are more dangerous than you might think. According to 2009 Bureau of Labor Statistics data, in the private sector, 120 door accidents occurred that required amputations; 410 were categorized as multiple traumatic injuries and disorders; 870 door collisions caused soreness and pain, including 100 that resulted in back injuries; and 1,250 other types of injuries occurred.

Tommy D. Raye's article from the latest issue of Safely Made, the Manufacturing Practice Specialty’s online technical publication, outlines the costs and effectiveness of common warning systems, such as placing a barricade around a door or installing an automated warning device.

How do you prevent door accidents and injuries in your workplace? What type of warning system has worked best for you?