Creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other

Creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other

New OSHA video: The inspection process, procedures

Washington — OSHA has released a new video detailing its general inspection process and the reasons for inspections.

The five-minute video describes what occurs during each of the three phases of an OSHA inspection: opening conference, walkaround and closing conference.

Reasons for inspections include imminent danger situations, fatalities, hospitalizations, amputations or losses of an eye, worker complaints, referrals, targeted inspections aimed at certain high-hazard industries or individual workplaces, and follow-up inspections.

After an inspection, the compliance safety and health officer – or compliance officer – will share findings with the OSHA area director, who will determine whether to issue a citation. A covered establishment then has 15 days to respond to the citation. The employer’s response can include requesting an informal conference with the area director or contesting the citation.

The video also highlights the agency’s free On-Site Consultation Program for small and medium-sized employers and OSHA Training Institute Education Center training courses designed for workers, employers and managers.

“A safe workplace benefits everyone,” the video states. “OSHA uses both enforcement and compliance assistance to achieve this shared goal. Ensuring compliance with OSHA standards is an integral part of the agency’s mission to keep workers safe and healthy. That’s why OSHA is working to give employers the knowledge and tools they need to comply with their obligations and provide safety information to workers.”

No level of cannabis use acceptable for workers in safety-sensitive positions

MarijuanaItasca, IL — The National Safety Council is calling on employers to restrict cannabis use among workers in safety-sensitive positions – regardless of whether cannabis consumption is allowed by their state, in a new policy position released Oct. 21.

Studies have shown that workers under the influence of cannabis can experience impaired body movement, altered senses, difficulty thinking and problem-solving, impaired memory, an altered sense of time, changes in mood, and – when taken in high doses – hallucinations and delusions.

In 2019, NSC surveyed more than 500 employers about the effects of cannabis in the workplace. Results show that:

  • 81% were concerned about the drug having a negative impact on their workforce.
  • 71% indicated their organization’s written policies cover employee use of illicit cannabis, while only 54% said their policies cover employee use of legal or prescribed cannabis.
  • 24% indicated they would dismiss an employee found to be misusing legal cannabis, such as being under the influence while on the job, while only 7% said they would relocate the employee to a position of lesser responsibility.

“Research clearly shows that cannabis impacts a person’s psychomotor skills and cognitive ability,” said Lorraine M. Martin, president and CEO of NSC, in an Oct. 21 press release. “In order to protect our employees and those around them, we need to acknowledge the impairing effects of cannabis. We urge employers to implement policies stating no amount of cannabis consumption is acceptable for those who work in safety-sensitive positions.”

DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day: October 26, 2019

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has scheduled another National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, to be held on Saturday October 26, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposal, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications. The Take Back Day provides an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths.

This is a great opportunity for those who missed previous events, or who have subsequently accumulated unwanted, unused prescription drugs, to dispose of those medications easily and safely.

For more information, including a Collection Site Locator, public service announcements, resources and treatment information, please visit DEA’s website https://takebackday.dea.gov/.

Survey shows millennials want more wellness resources

Nearly 4 out of 5 millennial workers say their employers should do more to support their health and well-being, including making resources more readily available, according to the findings of a recent survey.

National polling firm Ipsos Public Affairs, on behalf of Welltok – an employee health and well-being software provider – surveyed more than 1,000 full-time workers, of whom 330 were millennials (age 21-34), in December 2018.

Results show that 78% of the millennial workers said companywide health and well-being initiatives are falling short.

Other findings:

  • 44% of the millennial workers said occupational stress is negatively impacting their lives.
  • 51% have seriously considered changing their work situation because of stress.
  • Among the support resources millennial workers want most, emotional health (75%) led the way, followed by financial (73%), physical (70%) and social health (64%).

In an Aug. 8 press release, Welltok recommends that, in addition to making resources more easily available, employers should use incentives to motivate millennial workers to participate in wellness programs. Among the top rewards the millennials said they would be motivated by are extra vacation time (64%), wellness benefits such as gym memberships (56%) and flexible work schedules (53%).

Sleep deprivation among U.S. workers a growing problem, study finds

More than 1 out of 3 U.S. working adults aren’t getting enough sleep, and the prevalence of sleep deprivation has increased significantly since 2010, according to researchers from Ball State University.

The researchers analyzed 2010-2018 data from more than 150,000 working adults who participated in the National Health Interview Survey to determine the frequency of short sleep duration. Of the respondents, 35.6% reported getting less than seven hours of sleep a night in 2018. That’s up from 30.9% in 2010.

“Inadequate sleep is associated with mild to severe physical and mental health problems, injury, loss of productivity, and premature mortality,” Jagdish Khubchandani, lead study author and a health science professor at BSU, said in a press release. “This is a significant finding because the U.S. is currently witnessing high rates of chronic diseases across all ages, and many of these diseases are related to sleep problems.”

Other findings:

  • Professions with the highest prevalence of sleep deprivation in 2018 were police and military (50%), health care support (45%), transport and material moving (41%), and production occupations (41%).
  • Among women, 38.8% reported less than seven hours of sleep a night, up from 31.2% in 2010. Among men, those percentages were 35.5 and 30.5, respectively.
  • Among racial groups, sleep deficiency prevalence rose among African Americans (40.6% to 46.5%), Asian Americans (29.5% to 35.3%) and whites (29.2% to 34.1%).

The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults sleep seven to nine hours a night.

“Employers have a major responsibility and should use health promotion strategies to ensure that workers who struggle with sleep problems are assisted,” Khubchandani said. “We all suffer when our bus and truck drivers, doctors, and nurses are sleep deprived. There is a need for increasing awareness and improving the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders, and there needs to be emphasis on public education, training for health professionals and monitoring.”

U.S. Department of Transportation Proposes Major Rule for the Safe Transportation of Liquefied Natural Gas by Rail Tank Car

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), announced that it is publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) regarding the transportation of liquefied natural gas (LNG).  The proposed rule will seek comment on changes to the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to authorize the transportation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by rail in the DOT-113 specification tank cars.

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Stakeholder Meetings on Examination of Working Places in Metal and Nonmetal Mines Final Rule

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) announced the dates and locations of five public stakeholder meetings on the standards for examinations of working places in metal and nonmetal mines that became effective on September 30, 2019.

At the meetings, MSHA will provide training and compliance assistance materials to attendees.

Date

Location

Contact           

October 29, 2019
9 a.m.

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Dallas – Market Center
2015 Market Center Blvd
Dallas, TX 75207

214-741-7481

November 7, 2019
1:30 p.m.

Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge
4000 Grand Ave
Birmingham, AL 35226

205-916-7677

November 12, 2019
1:30 p.m.

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Bloomington
10 Brickyard Dr
Bloomington, IL 61701

309-664-6446

November 14, 2019
9 a.m.

Hilton Garden Inn Denver Tech Center
7675 E Union Ave
Denver, CO 80237

303-770-4200

November 21, 2019
9 a.m.

Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh Downtown
250 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

412-281-5557

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MSHA Fatality #19

COAL MINE FATALITY – On September 17, 2019, an electrician was electrocuted when he contacted an energized conductor. The victim contacted a 995 VAC connector while attempting to troubleshoot the scrubber motor circuit on a continuous mining machine.

Fatality accident scene on September 17, 2019
Best Practices: 
  1. Lock out and tag out the electrical circuit yourself. Never rely on others to do this for you.
  2. BEFORE performing electrical work:
    • Open the circuit breaker or load break switch away from the enclosure to de-energize the incoming power cables or conductors.
    • Open the visual disconnect away from the enclosure to confirm that the incoming power cables or conductors have been de-energized.
    • Lock out and tag out the visual disconnect.
    • Ground the de-energized phase conductors.
  3. Wear properly rated and well maintained electrical gloves when troubleshooting or testing energized circuits.  After the electrical problem has been found, follow the proper steps before performing electrical work.
  4. Use properly rated electrical meters and non-contact voltage testers to ensure electrical circuits have been de-energized.
  5. Only use qualified, trained workers. Ensure electrical work is performed by a qualified electrician or someone trained to do electrical work under a qualified electrician’s direct supervision.
  6. Identify circuits and circuit breakers. Properly identify all electrical circuits and circuit breakers before troubleshooting or performing electrical work.