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New Study Makes the Case for Training on Common Mental Health Disroders

According to a study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, managers who are trained in common mental disorders, such as stress, anxiety and depression are up to 84% more likely to take managerial preventative actions in order assist an employee in the workplace.

Of the study participants who received training such as stress counseling or lectures on Mental Health topics, 50% reported taking preventative action and 57% reporting having talks with employees as a means of prevention.

Other factors influencing managerial preventative actions were gender, if the employer offered stress counseling, being responsible for the work environment, and more than 10 years of managerial experience.

This study seems to show the importance of reducing stigma associated with metal health common in the workplace. Simple things like awareness training, promotion of Employee Assistance Programs, identifying tasks and activities prone to stress help to normalize mental illness and therefore open up the workplace to preventative actions. These actions would in turn reduce the unwanted effects both in the workplace and beyond.

To see the findings as summarized by the National Safety Council, click Here or Here to access the full study.

McCraren Compliance offers Suicide Prevention in the Workplace Training utilizing curriculum though Working Minds and University of Colorado. Call or contact us to find out more.

FMCSA Increases Random Drug Test Rate to 50% for 2020

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is increasing the minimum annual percentage rate for random controlled substances testing for truck drivers.

According to a document published in the Federal Register on Dec. 27, the agency is increasing the minimum annual percentage rate for random drug testing from 25% of the average number of driver positions to 50% of the average number of driver positions. This change will take effect Jan. 1, 2020.

For reference, FMCSA estimates there are 3.2 million commercial driver license holders participating in interstate commerce and 1 million CDL holders participating in intrastate commerce. Under the annual random testing rate of 25% of all driving positions, this meant at least 1.05 million random controlled substances tests were to be conducted. With a new annual random testing rate of 50%, approximately 2.1 million random tests will need to be conducted in 2020.

Pure Safety Group recalls SRLs with stainless steel or web lifelines

Houston — Pure Safety Group has issued an immediate recall and stop-use alert for its Guardian Fall Protection Self-Retracting Lifelines that use a stainless steel or web lifeline.

“A small number of SRLs were identified as noncompliant with ANSI Z359.14-14 and must immediately be removed from service,” PSG states in a press release. Under certain conditions, the stainless steel or web lifeline may not perform to industry standards in leading-edge applications and could result in serious bodily injury or death.

The recall affects the following product numbers:

  • 10931: Halo (formerly Edge) Series with 20-foot stainless steel cable
  • 10933: Halo (formerly Edge) Series with 25-foot stainless steel cable
  • 10936: Halo (formerly Edge) Series with 30-foot stainless steel cable
  • 10979: Diablo (formerly Daytona) with 50-foot stainless steel cable
  • 10980: Diablo (formerly Daytona) with 65-foot stainless steel cable
  • 10908: Halo Series with 20-foot web retractable lifeline with boot cover

According to the release, no incidents or injuries related to the recall have been reported. In November, PSG issued an immediate recall and stop-use alert for its Guardian Fall Protection and Web Device 3-Way Rescue and Retrieval Self-Retracting Lifeline units.

MSHA Fatality #22

METAL/NONMETAL MINE FATALITY – A contract maintenance mechanic was performing elevator maintenance when the car descended, crushing the mechanic against an elevator platform. The person died at the scene on December 3, 2019.

December 3, 2019 scene of the fatality accident
Best Practices:
  1. De-energize, lock out and tag out, and block machinery or equipment that can injure miners – before entering the area.
  2. Post warning signs or barricades to keep miners out of areas where health or safety hazards exist.
  3. Install an audible alarm to warn of impending equipment movement.
  4. Evaluate and correct possible hazards promptly before working.
  5. Train personnel in safely using handrails and fall protection equipment during maintenance and construction activities. Ensure their use.
Additional Information:

This is the 22nd fatality reported in 2019, and the seventh fatality classified as “Machinery.”

Statement from OSHA Regarding Occupational Fatalities in 2018

OSHA reports Suicide at work increased 11% in 2018 and unintentional overdoses at working increased 11% according to the US Bureaus of Labor statistics. To help combat these serious issues affecting our workers, families, companies and the greater society, OSHA has a new webpage with free and confidential resources to help identify the warning signs of suicide and to help users know who and how to call for help.

OSHA is also working with National Safety Council on the release of a toolkit to help employers address opioid abuse in their workplaces and support workers in recovery. To see the full release from OSHA click here

McCraren Compliance offers Suicide Prevention in Workplace training through Working Minds. Email info@mccrarencompliance.com to find out more.

Free online course: Understanding and preventing worker opioid misuse

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Photo: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences’ Worker Training Program

Research Triangle Park, NC — The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences’ Worker Training Program has launched a free online training course designed to help employers and workers recognize occupational risk factors for opioid misuse and addiction, as well as develop solutions for prevention.

Along with providing background information on the opioid epidemic, the course’s 11 modules provide resources, exercises and case studies on topics such as:

  • Understanding opioid use disorder
  • Synthetic opioids (including fentanyl)
  • Occupational exposure
  • Workplace substance use prevention programs

Jonathan Rosen, a consultant for WTP – which aims to protect workers who handle hazardous materials and waste generation, removal, containment and transportation – steered the development of the endeavor, according to an article published in the November issue of Environmental Factors, NIEHS’s monthly newsletter.

Rosen outlines the following objectives for the course:

  • Address the impact of the opioid crisis on workers, workplaces and communities
  • Follow the public health model of primary, secondary and tertiary prevention
  • Define opioid use disorder as a disease that affects the brain
  • Remove stigma
  • Adopt action planning to allow participants to begin taking next steps.

The course cites recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data showing that 130 opioid-related overdose deaths occur daily. Overall, 399,000 such deaths occurred in the United States from 1999 to 2017. Speaking during an NIEHS seminar Oct. 10, Rosen encouraged employers to take preventive measures to limit hazards that may cause work-related injuries, noting that many cases of workplace-related opioid misuse involve prescriptions administered to treat injuries that occurred on the job.

“Prevention starts with making sure the job is not injurious,” Rosen said. “There are many potential solutions to help ensure that workers are not subject to conditions that will result in pain and injury.”

NIOSH offers free safety education for high school students

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Photo: Sidekick/iStockphoto

Washington — NIOSH, through its recently announced partnership with the nonprofit organization America Achieves, is offering a new high school curriculum that includes workplace safety and health education.

America Achieves’ career exploration course, Quest for Success, is designed to help students “learn about and prepare for jobs of the future,” NIOSH states.

The curriculum includes safety and health competencies related to identification of and control strategies for common workplace hazards. The material was adapted from Youth@Work – Talking Safety, another free curriculum from NIOSH and its partners.

“Ensuring that future jobs are also safe and healthy jobs is critical to ensuring the health and well-being of the workforce,” NIOSH Director John Howard said in a press release. “NIOSH is pleased to partner with America Achieves to work together to prepare future generations of workers with the knowledge and skills they need to stay safe at work through an innovative career readiness resource.”

Quest for Success was developed with feedback from national experts, employers and other industry partners. America Achieves launched a pilot program for the curriculum in 2018 with more than 2,400 students in Louisiana. It was later revised and adapted for a nationwide audience, according to the release.