Recognize Safe + Sound Week, August 10-16, 2020

Safe + Sound Week is a nationwide event held each August that recognizes the successes of workplace health and safety programs and offers information and ideas on how to keep America’s workers safe.

Why Participate?
Successful safety and health programs can proactively identify and manage workplace hazards before they cause injury or illness, improving sustainability and the bottom line. Participating in Safe + Sound Week can help get your program started, energize an existing one, or provide a chance to recognize your safety successes.

Who Participates?
All organizations looking for an opportunity to recognize their commitment to safety are welcome to participate. Last year, more than 3,300 businesses helped to raise awareness about workers’ health and safety!

Safe + Sound Week August 10-16, 2020 - Management Leadership - Worker Participation - Find and Fix Hazards

U.S. Department of Labor Implements New Weighting System For Workplace Safety and Health Inspections

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that it has recently implemented the OSHA Weighting System (OWS) for fiscal year (FY) 2020. OWS will encourage the appropriate allocation of resources to support OSHA’s balanced approach of promoting safe and healthy workplaces, and continue to develop and support a management system that focuses enforcement activities on critical and strategic areas where the agency’s efforts can have the most impact.

Under the current enforcement weighting system, OSHA weights certain inspections based on the time taken to complete the inspection or, in some cases, the impact of the inspection on workplace safety and health. OWS recognizes that time is not the only factor to assess when considering the potential impact of an inspection. Other factors – such as types of hazards inspected and abated, and effective targeting – also influence the impact on workplace safety and health. The new system adds enforcement initiatives such as the Site-Specific Targeting to the weighting system. 

The OWS replaces the current enforcement weighting system initiated in FY 2015. The new system is based on an evaluation of the existing criteria and a working group’s recommendations regarding improvements to the existing weighting system. OSHA has been running the new weighting system currently to confirm data integrity.

The system will continue to weight inspections, but will do so based on other factors, including agency priorities and the impact of inspections, rather than simply on a time-weighted basis. The new OWS approach reinforces OSHA’s balanced approach to occupational safety and health (i.e., strong and fair enforcement, compliance assistance and recognition) and will incorporate the three major work elements performed by the field: enforcement activity, essential enforcement support functions (e.g., severe injury reporting and complaint resolution), and compliance assistance efforts.

OWS will become effective October 1, 2019.

 

Older workers’ health: Finding the right job fit matters, researchers say

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Photo: Stígur Már Karlsson/Heimsmyndir/iStockphoto

Houston — For older workers, the right job fit can benefit overall health and well-being, while a poor fit is more likely to push them into retirement, according to researchers from Rice University and Colorado State University.  Read more»

Union leaders call for new MSHA silica standard

Image: NIOSH

Washington — Alarmed by a recent spike in cases of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, a deadly but preventable condition commonly known as black lung, union presidents Cecil Roberts of the United Mine Workers of America and Leo Gerard of United Steelworkers have sent a letter to Mine Safety and Health Administration leader David Zatezalo requesting stricter regulation of respirable silica dust.

In the letter, dated June 19, Roberts and Gerard cite extensive research documenting the impact of silica dust exposure on the resurgence of black lung. One study, released by the University of Illinois at Chicago in May 2018, found that more than 4,600 coal miners have developed the most severe form of black lung disease since 1970, with almost half the cases emerging after 2000.

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Safety and Health Resources

Featured Publication: Lighting the Way for Safety and Health Programs

case study produced through OSHA’s Electric Transmission and Distribution Strategic Partnership illustrates how safety and health programs can protect workers from industry hazards, such as electrocutions, falls, fires, and explosions. The study provides examples of and inspirations for programs that can find and fix hazards before they harm workers

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

 

IBOEHS – Quarterly Newsletter

For   Their   Safety

Apr – May – Jun  2019    Volume 17, Issue 2

International Board of Environmental Health & Safety “Instilling Professionalism

  • Carelessness
  • Protecting Your Sight
  • Using Portable Generators Safely
  • Disease Dangers of Flood Waters
  • Afterthoughts and Regrets

Carelessness

 PATHS (PA Training for Health & Safety)

Have you ever done anything that wasn’t really smart? Something that you know put you at increased risk of injury? When you realized what you did, whether you were hurt or not, did you ask yourself, “Why did I ever do that?” For your own self-preservation, this should be a very important question for you to answer yourself.

Consider the fact that approximately 20 percent of injuries are due to unsafe conditions and 80 percent are caused by unsafe acts. If you realize that most unsafe conditions are brought about by human failure, then virtually all accidents/mishaps are brought about by unsafe acts. Why did you do something in an unsafe manner? To answer this question, you will need to put personal defenses aside and know that blame may lie within yourself. Also realize that there may be more than one reason for your actions and others may be involved. Continue reading»