Drugs and Sexual Assault: What You Should Know

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Although there are many substances that can cause you to pass out or lose control, certain drugs – like GHB, Rohypnol, ketamine, and Ecstasy – are referred to as “sexual assault” drugs because sexual predators often use them to get control over their victims. Learn more about these drugs.

OSHA issued a temporary enforcement policy for crane operator certifications from Crane Institute Certification.

WASHINGTON, DC – To avoid industry confusion and potential disruptions of construction crane projects, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued an enforcement policy for crane operator certifications issued by Crane Institute Certification (CIC). OSHA requires crane operators engaged in construction activity to be certified by an entity accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency. CIC no longer holds such accreditation.

The policy explains that, although CIC-issued certifications are not compliant with OSHA’s operator certification requirement, OSHA does not intend to cite employers for operating equipment that violates that requirement if their operators, in good faith, obtained CIC-issued certifications prior to December 2, 2019, with the belief the certifications met the standard’s requirements. Until further notice, OSHA will not accept CIC certifications – including re-certifications – issued on or after December 2, 2019.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

MSHA Fatality #21

METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY – While spotting for a dump truck, a contractor stepped directly into the path of a bulldozer and died at the scene on November 16, 2019.

Fatality on November 16, 2019 scene of the fatality accident
Best Practices: 
  1. Safety first. Before starting work, establish and discuss safe work procedures. Identify and control all hazards associated with the work and properly protect workers.
  2. Know where people are. Be aware of body positioning around equipment, traffic patterns, dump sites, and haul roads.
  3. Train miners and contractors on traffic controls, mobile equipment patterns, and other site-specific hazards.
  4. Stay alert. Do not place yourself in harm’s way.
  5. Communicate with mobile equipment operators and ensure they acknowledge your presence.
  6. Ensure travelways are clear before moving a vehicle or mobile equipment.
  7. Look behind you. Install “rear viewing” cameras or other collision warning systems on mobile equipment. When backing up, look over your shoulder to eliminate blind spots. When using mirrors, use all available mirrors.
  8. Wear reflective material while working around mobile equipment. Use flags, visible to equipment operators, to make miners and smaller vehicles more visible.
Additional Information:

This is the 21st fatality reported in 2019, and the fifth fatality classified as “Machinery.”

Of all professions, construction workers most likely to use opioids and cocaine

Construction workers are more likely use cocaine and misuse prescription opioids, according to a study  by the Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research at NYU College of Global Public Health. These workers are also the second most likely to use marijuana.

Researchers looked at data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health between 2005 and 2014.

“It makes sense that we see higher rates of construction workers using pain-relieving substances such as opioids and marijuana, given the labor-intensive nature of their work and high rates of injuries,” said Danielle Ompad, the study’s lead author. Read more.

MSHA Fatality #20

METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY – A mobile maintenance mechanic was driving on the pit haulage road when the service truck he was operating left the road, hit a berm, and flipped onto its side, ejecting the miner. The miner died at the scene on November 5, 2019.

Accident scene of ejected miner
Best Practices:
  1. Always wear seat belts when operating mobile equipment.
  2. Maintain control and stay alert when operating mobile equipment.
  3. Conduct adequate pre-operational checks and correct any safety defects before operating mobile equipment.
Additional Information:

This is the 20th fatality reported in 2019, and the seventh fatality classified as “Powered Haulage.”

Transportation matters: Take 5 minutes and tell us what’s important to you!

Investing in transportation to meet your needs

Give us your input toward the development of a future RTA plan

TAKE THE SURVEY

The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) is conducting a survey to seek public input on guiding principles drafted by the RTA’s Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC). The CAC will consider the guiding principles as they identify projects to develop a future 20-year regional transportation plan.

The committee will be charged with weighing the value of regional benefits of proposed projects vs. the estimated construction costs to meet the budget. After the committee prepares a draft plan, they will continue to seek broad public input during the plan review process – prior to making a final recommendation to the RTA Board.

The current RTA plan and special taxing district’s half-cent sales (excise) tax – both voter-approved in 2006 – will expire in June 2026.

Please complete the survey by Friday, December 13, 2019. Thank you!

AMA announces appointment of panel to update permanent impairment evaluation guides

Chicago — The American Medical Association has appointed a 13-member editorial panel of physicians and allied health professionals to oversee updates to the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment – used to help determine compensation for injured workers.

In a Sept. 18 press release, AMA states that the panel is important to developing a new, transparent process, driven by stakeholders, to maintain and enhance the guides with timely developments based on current science and evidence-based medical practice.

For more than five decades, the AMA Guides have been used as a source for physicians, patients and regulators to determine fair and consistent impairment rating information and tools, according to AMA’s website. Impairment ratings and impairment rating reports produced using the guides are used to determine compensation for patients with work-related injuries or illnesses that have resulted in a reduction of body function or loss of use of an injured body part long term.

“As new medical innovations become available, patient outcomes continue to improve,” Mark Melhorn, panel co-chair, said in the release. “It is important that the impairment process reflect those changes. Using the most current evidence-based science is critical.”

The panel also will help modernize the guides by reducing physician burden and improving the quality and consistency of evaluations, the release states.

The guides have been adopted by 40 states and several foreign countries, according to AMA.

Surgeon general to employers: Ramp up your worker well-being initiatives

Surgeon-General.jpg

Photo: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’s

Washington — U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams is urging employers to make worker well-being a higher priority, in an article published online Oct. 10 in Public Health Reports – the official journal of the Office of the Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service.

“Healthy and happy employees have a better quality of life, a lower risk of disease and injury, increased work productivity, and a greater likelihood of contributing to their communities than employees with poorer well-being,” Adams writes, citing a 2015 study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.  Read more