Exhausted nation: Americans more tired than ever, survey finds

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

New York — Do you feel like you’re constantly running on fumes? If so, it’s not just you. Around 3 out of 5 U.S. adults say they feel more tired now than they’ve ever been and blame it on additional time spent at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, results of a recent survey show.

Researchers from marketing research company OnePoll surveyed 2,000 U.S. adults to learn about the impacts the pandemic is having on their energy levels, as well as any accompanying side effects. Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they feel unfocused or disjointed, and that taking a brief nap isn’t a “viable solution.” More than half of the respondents (55%) said no amount of rest helps them feel focused, while slightly more (56%) believe poor sleep schedules have led to low energy levels.

Other findings:

  • 69% of the respondents said working from home has disrupted their sleep schedule.
  • Long work hours (53%), staying indoors during lockdowns (52%), too much screen time (46%) and lack of a regular routine (41%) were cited as the leading causes for prolonged feelings of exhaustion.
  • Among the participants working from home, 34% said many of the activities that typically boost their energy levels aren’t possible during the pandemic.
  • 3 out of 5 respondents said video conferences are more draining than in-person meetings.

The American Sleep Association offers tips for getting a better night’s sleep.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Online tool designed to identify ‘the right places’ to use workplace exoskeletons

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication
Exo-LiFFT.jpg

Photo: Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN — A free online tool developed by researchers at Vanderbilt University is intended to help employers assess how and where exoskeletons could help reduce work-related back injuries “without the need for costly and time-consuming experiments.”

Exoskeletons are used in a variety of industries to relieve physical strain and overexertion, which accounts for 38.5% of work-related musculoskeletal disorders, a university press release states, citing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Exo-LiFFT is an interactive calculator designed to help employers who are “looking for ways to overcome workforces struggling with musculoskeletal injuries, missed work and accelerated retirement amongst skilled laborers.”

The tool was developed in collaboration with industrial engineers from Auburn University and an ergonomist from a supplier of workforce wearables. The researchers, from Vanderbilt’s Center for Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology, project that exoskeleton use in material handling has the potential to reduce back injuries up to 60%.

The free tool is available in three versions: an online calculator for either single or multitask assessment or as a downloadable Excel worksheet.

“If we can identify the right places to deploy exoskeletons, then they can reduce injury risks as well as bodily discomfort, which impacts workers on the job and at home,” Karl Zelik, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Vanderbilt, said in the release. “Exoskeletons may also help improve worker recruitment and retention, which have been costly pain points for employers amidst the labor shortage.”

Further details of the tool were explored in a study published online Nov. 2 in the journal Applied Ergonomics.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

SAMHSA working to turn National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to three-digit number

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Photo: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Rockville, MD — The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is helping to transition the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to a three-digit number – 988.

According to a press release, Congress designated the updated dialing code in 2020 and the Department of Health and Human Services, through SAMHSA, is investing $282 million for the transition. That funding comes from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and the Biden administration’s fiscal year 2022 budget.

The 988 number is scheduled to be available for calling, texting or chatting nationwide beginning in July.

“Converting to this easy-to-remember, three-digit number will strengthen and expand the existing Lifeline network, providing the public with easier access to lifesaving services,” the release states. “The Lifeline currently helps thousands of people overcome crisis situations every day.”

Citing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, SAMHSA notes that suicide was the 10th-leading cause of death nationally in 2019. It was also the second-leading cause of death among young people that year.

CDC analysis published in 2020 and using 2016 data found that men in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction had a suicide rate of 54.2 per 100,000 workers. The overall average rate for men was 27.4. In addition, men and women in construction and extraction had suicide rates of 49.4 and 25.5, respectively.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 year-round at (800) 273-8255 (TALK).


McCraren Compliance offers training and programs to support companies in suicide awareness and prevention. Contact us for additional information to help you with this very important workplace safety.

Construction safety report looks at hazard prevention for human-robot interactions

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Photo: CPWR

Silver Spring, MD — To help assess and quantify human-robot interaction safety hazards on construction worksites, a recently published report from CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training details a newly developed practical process and tools for practitioners.

CPWR researchers looked at hazards linked to the use of robotics and automation, such as drones, exoskeletons and “single-task” construction robots. They identified 40 such hazards and classified them into seven groups, including unauthorized access or operational situation awareness, mechanical concerns, power systems, and improper installation.

The researchers developed safety risk ratings for three kinds of robotics and automation – wearable robots, remote-operated robots and automated robots onsite – for three kinds of construction tasks (bricklaying, drywall installation, and concrete grinding and polishing).

From there, the researchers developed 22 preventive strategies and created a process for assessing and controlling hazards related to human-robot interaction. The process includes Safety Data Sheets on the use of exoskeletons, remote-operated robots and onsite automated robots, such as those involved in bricklaying. Also included are Job Hazard Analysis protocols for different tasks.

The report features descriptions of available robotics and automation technologies, applications of those technologies, factors that influence the use of those technologies, and current standards and procedures.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Conducting self-inspections: Two methods

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Inspections are an important part of any workplace safety and health management system. Described in a video from the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health Division of Labor and Industry as the practice of “identifying unsafe conditions through observations and testing of the work environment,” inspections can cover housekeeping, emergency alarms, electrical hazards, machine guarding and chemical hazards.

One method is a daily informal inspection. The video offers an example: An employee can start their workday by inspecting their work area for slip, trip or fall hazards. “A supervisor or manager may then follow up with the employee regarding what was found.”

A formal inspection is another method. This type of inspection could be conducted weekly, monthly or quarterly. What makes it “formal”? It should be performed by experts who are knowledgeable in the subject matter and have the ability to recognize unsafe conditions. Inspecting complex machinery, for example, should always be conducted as a formal inspection, Maryland DLI says.

Once an inspection is completed, “an authorized individual should ensure corrections are made in a timely manner.” If a long-term solution is needed, Maryland DLI recommends putting interim controls in place. If an issue is severe, workers should be removed depending on the level of severity.

To help increase accountability and worker trust in your safety and health management program, share findings from inspections via bulletin boards in common areas and during safety meetings, or by sending emails or texts.


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

BLS: On-the-job deaths at lowest level in seven years

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication
Photo: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Washington — A total of 4,764 workers died as a result of on-the-job injuries in 2020 – a 10.7% decrease from the year before and the lowest number of fatalities since 4,585 were recorded in 2013, according to Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries data released Dec. 16 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Additionally, the overall rate of fatal workplace injuries decreased slightly, to 3.4 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers in 2020 from 3.5 the previous year.

Other highlights:

  • More than 1 out of 5 workplace fatalities in 2020 involved Hispanic or Latino workers. The 1,072 deaths among this group represent 22.5% of all workplace fatalities.
  • The 541 deaths among Black workers marks a 14.7% decrease from the previous year.
  • Transportation-related fatalities fell 16.2% to 1,778 while accounting for 37.3% of all fatal work-related injuries.
  • Nearly half of fatal occupational injuries (47.4%) involved workers in transportation/material moving and construction and extraction occupations.
  • Workers in health care support occupations experienced 44 fatal injuries – a 15.8% increase from 2019.
  • Worker suicides fell to 259 in 2020 from 307 the previous year – a 15.6% decrease and the lowest total for on-the-job suicides since 2015.

BLS included additional clarification on the COVID-19 pandemic, stating, “CFOI reports fatal workplace injuries only. These may include fatal workplace injuries complicated by an illness such as COVID-19.” CFOI doesn’t report illness-related information, however, including that for COVID-19.

The data release is the second of two annual BLS reports. The first, released Nov. 3, examined nonfatal injuries and illnesses among private-sector employees.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Washington L&I publishes return-to-work toolkit for employers

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Photo: Washington State Department of Labor & Industries

new toolkit from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries offers employers resources they can use to help injured employees return to work as soon as medically possible, aid worker recovery and prevent long-term disability while reducing the financial burden of workers’ compensation claims.

The Return to Work Toolkit is a collection of resources, forms and best practices that provide a step-by-step explanation for improving how workplace injuries and return-to-work opportunities are managed within an organization.

According to Washington L&I, the longer an employee remains off work, the more difficult it is for that person to return to their original job and income. A strong return-to-work program can help employees get back to work quickly and safely.

The toolkit features tips on what to do before and after an injury, addresses job modifications and pre-job accommodations, and provides examples of 11 different forms. Templates and samples provided include:

  • Return-to-work policy statement
  • Employee incident form
  • First five steps of return to work
  • Return-to-work checklist for supervisors
  • Supervisor incident investigation report
  • Sample letter for the attending provider
  • Sample light-duty and permanent-duty job offer letters
  • Claim contacts

Additionally, the toolkit includes a list of employee and owner/manager/supervisor responsibilities during the process, along with those of an organization’s return-to-work coordinator.


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

Office spaces can be redesigned for greater wellness benefits, researchers say

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Tucson, AZ — Reimagined office spaces can help reduce worker stress and enhance overall well-being, a pair of University of Arizona researchers say in a recently published paper.

The researchers propose a framework based on seven areas for designing the built environment for well-being: resiliency, environment, movement, relationships, sleep, spirituality and nutrition.

Paper co-author Esther Sternberg, a professor of medicine and a member of the UA BIO5 Institute, drew on research conducted during her tenure with the General Services Administration. Those studies show that office layout can encourage workers to move more often, thereby reducing stress and improving sleep.

The paper cites many other studies, “such as those showing the sleep-improving effects of natural light, the well-being benefits of nature and the health benefits of proper building air circulation, which can improve cognitive functioning and reduce fatigue by reducing pollutants.”

Sternberg adds: “This paper is a merging of two fields: integrative health and the built environment. The concept of designing the built environment for physical health and emotional well-being has been around for decades, but wasn’t really the focus across all design fields until very recently.

“COVID-19 shone a very bright spotlight on designing for mental health because in the wake of the pandemic, there is a pandemic of mental health, of stress, of anxiety around the world. The built environment can play a very important role in reducing stress and enhancing all those elements of integrative health.”

The paper is scheduled for print in the November issue of the journal Building and Environment.


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

New Mine Inspector

First published by Office of the Governor Doug Ducey

Governor Ducey Announces Paul Marsh As Arizona State Mine Inspector

Marsh Will Succeed Inspector Joe Hart, One Of The Longest-Serving Leaders In Governor Ducey’s Administration

PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today announced the appointment of Paul Marsh to serve as Arizona State Mine Inspector upon Joe Hart’s retirement from Arizona state service.

“Paul Marsh has over 25 years of industry experience and will bring a wealth of knowledge to the position,” said Governor Ducey. “He is a proven leader with strong communication skills and a history of working with safety standards and regulations. I’m confident his experience has given him all the tools needed to fill Inspector Joe Hart’s big shoes. Joe has been a stalwart of state government, serving in the Arizona Legislature for a decade before his election as Mine Inspector in 2006. He’s played an important role in overseeing the safety and regulations of Arizona’s mines — and I thank him for his many years of service.”

Inspector Hart is a fourth generation Arizonan and lifelong resident of Kingman, where the mining of gold, silver, copper and turquoise goes back decades. In his four statewide elections, he has always been one of Arizona’s top vote getters. While in the Arizona House of Representatives, he served as speaker pro-tem and Chairman of several committees. Prior to serving in the Legislature, Hart spent 20 years at Duval Mining Company, where he worked as a safety inspector.

The position of State Mine Inspector dates back to the Arizona Constitution of 1912, the year Arizona became a state. Arizona is the only state that elects a Mine Inspector.

“I am excited for the opportunity to serve all Arizonans as the State Mine Inspector,” Marsh said. “Inspector Hart has been critical in protecting both the public and miners by providing top-notch safety training. I look forward to the opportunity to continue protecting both the public and the miners that call Arizona home.”

Marsh has served as the Ready Mix Operations Manager in the Phoenix Division for CalPortland Company since February 2018. He previously served as CalPortland’s Director of Safety for the Southwest Region from March 2011 to February 2018.

While serving as Director of Safety for the Southwest Region at CalPortland, Marsh was responsible for the health and safety at 25 locations within Arizona and Southern California. He maintained relationships with managers, supervisors and employees to ensure compliance with all company, local, state and federal safety and health regulations. Marsh also oversaw two safety managers ensuring compliance with Mine Safety and Health Administration, Occupational Health and Safety Administration and Department of Transportation standards for operation.

Marsh is active in both industry and community organizations, including previously serving as the chair of the Community Relations Committee and the Safety Committee at the Arizona Rock Products Association, and as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve from June 1990 to June 1997. In 2015, he was awarded both the Arizona State Mine Inspector’s Office Safety Professional of the Year Award and the Arizona Mining Associations Copper Pot Award. Marsh was born and raised in the Phoenix area. Aside from military service, he has always resided in the Phoenix area.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

COVID-19 whistleblowing

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

See the source image

New fact sheet from OSHA

Washington — A new fact sheet from OSHA details protections for employees who report workplace health and safety concerns related to COVID-19, and includes other relevant information for whistleblowers.

Section 11(c) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 contains anti-retaliation provisions for all employers except most federal, state and local government workers. U.S. Postal Service employees, however, are covered.

Activities related to COVID-19 that are protected include reporting an infection/exposure or unsafe condition to an employer or OSHA. The fact sheet provides examples of retaliation, including being fired or laid off.

OSHA notes that, under the OSH Act, the deadline for filing a retaliation complaint is 30 days after an employee “learns of the adverse action.” It also details what happens after a complaint is filed, what to do about a “dangerous situation” at work and what happens after a Section 11(c) investigation.

If an OSHA regional administrator dismisses the complaint, the employee may seek a review of the dismissal by the Directorate of Whistleblower Protection Programs by filing a request within 15 calendar days of receiving the dismissal letter.


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.