Creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other

Creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other

Inactivity on the increase among Americans of all ages, researchers say

Photo: TARIK KIZILKAYA/iStockphoto

St. Louis — Despite hearing the warnings about the health hazards of prolonged sitting – including greater risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers – most Americans aren’t taking heed.

Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, researchers from the School of Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis examined a “nationally representative sample” of more than 51,000 Americans across various ages, races and ethnic groups over a 16-year period (2001-2016).

The researchers found that daily sitting time among teens increased to just over eight hours a day in 2016 from seven in 2007. Among adults, sitting time rose to nearly 6.5 hours a day from 5.5 in the same time period.

Results also showed that most Americans spend at least two hours a day watching TV or videos. Among children ages 5-11, 62% spent at least two hours in front of screens. That number was 59% for ages 12-19, 65% for ages 20-64 and rose to 84% for adults 65 and older.

In the two most recent years of the study, at least half of people in all age groups used a computer for at least an hour of leisure time. Up to 25% of all ages used a computer for at least three hours a day when away from work or school.

“In almost none of the groups we analyzed are the numbers going in the right direction,” senior author Yin Cao, an epidemiologist and assistant professor of surgery at Washington University, said in an April 23 press release.

The study was published April 23 in the Journal of the American Medical Association

 

Fatigue, drinking among driver behaviors that contribute to ‘perennial crisis’: report

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Austin, TX — More than 7 out of 10 people admit to driving drowsy, and nearly 1 in 4 say they’ve driven drunk, according to a recent report from online driving school DriversEd.com.

Researchers conducted an online survey of 957 licensed drivers. Results, published in the 2019 Behind-the-Wheel Confessions Report, show that 71% of the respondents reported they’ve driven while feeling drowsy, 24% admitted to driving drunk and 40% said they’ve experienced road rage.

“When it comes to driving safety, the country and its roadways are in a state of perennial crisis – and the situation is getting worse, largely thanks to phones, texting and social media,” Laura Adams, safety and education analyst for DriversEd.com, said in a May 31 press release.

Other findings:

  • 89% of the respondents said they’ve exceeded the speed limit.
  • 58% said they’ve rolled past a stop sign without making a complete stop.
  • 47% said they’ve run a red light.
  • 31% said they check their cell phone more often than they should.

“For each and every one of these hazardous behind-the-wheel behaviors, there are solutions – from checking your eyesight and hearing to assigning a designated driver to setting calendar reminders to inspect your tires to meditating before driving to simply exercising self-discipline,” Adams said.

Drivers operating on four to five hours of sleep are four times more likely to be involved in a traffic incident, according to the National Safety Council, which recommends getting at least seven hours of sleep before driving, and stopping to rest every two hours during long commutes.

New hazard alert from Washington L&I: tower cranes

Tumwater, WA —A new hazard alert from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries outlines the roles, responsibilities and procedures of erecting and dismantling tower cranes.

Published in June, the alert is intended for tower crane owners, as well as contractors and their employees who use, erect and dismantle tower cranes. The two-page publication goes over planning and communication, as well as who can serve as an assembly/disassembly director – defined in the alert as “one who is competent and a qualified person, or a competent person assisted by one or more qualified people.”

According to OSHA standard 1926.32(m), a “qualified” person is “one who, by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, or who by extensive knowledge, training, and experience, has successfully demonstrated his ability to solve or resolve problems relating to the subject matter, the work, or the project.”

U.S. Department of Labor Announces Upgraded Data System to Assist Mine Operators in Ensuring Compliance with Mine Safety and Health Regulations

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has completed a major upgrade to its primary data system – the Mine Data Retrieval System (MDRS) – bringing increased functionality and more intuitive navigation to this widely used feature.

The MDRS offers a variety of tools to help operators monitor their compliance with MSHA regulations. The system provides access to comprehensive mine location, status, ownership, employment, production, accident/inspection/violations history, and health sampling data. Additionally, MSHA’s compliance assistance calculators – Pattern of Violations (POV), Significant and Substantial Rate, and Violations per Inspection Day – can be accessed here. The MDRS gateway is the most visited page on the agency’s website, www.msha.gov.

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OSHA Requests Information on Possible Updates to the Lockout/Tagout Standard

OSHA is requesting information on a possible update of Control of Hazardous Energy (LOTO) Standard. Comments must be submitted on or before August 18, 2019. Comments and materials may be submitted electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal, or by facsimile or mail. See the Federal Register notice for submission details.

New OSHA Resources Offer Solutions to Common Safety Hazards

A new series of OSHA Alerts addresses safety hazards associated with specific activities, equipment, or events. Each alert identifies the hazards involved and offers clear solutions to keep workers safe. Alerts currently available focus on flood recovery and cleanup, trenching and excavation, and forklift operation.

OSHA’s new flyer on five things you should know to stay safe in a trench addresses the most common trench-related hazards. The agency has additional resources for employers and workers on trenching safety, including a short video.

Manual Material Handling and Back Injuries

Lifting objects or manually handling materials puts workers at risk for back injuries. More than 111,000 such injuries requiring days away from work were recorded in 2017, according to “Injury Facts,” an online database created by the National Safety Council. What can employers and workers do to prevent them?    Continue Reading»

 

 

Image: Rich Legg/iStockphoto