Respiratory protection

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

NIOSH publishes toolbox talk

NIOSH respiratory protection

Photo: NIOSH

Washington — Knowing how to select, use and maintain NIOSH-approved respirators can help promote proper respiratory protection practices and protect construction workers from unsafe airborne contaminants, according to a new toolbox talk published by the agency.

NIOSH encourages employers to examine all avenues to reduce worker exposure to potentially dangerous dusts and fumes.

Among the first steps should be to try to eliminate or replace the hazard, implement engineering controls (e.g., local exhaust ventilation), or implement administrative controls (e.g., rotating workers between hazardous tasks). When these controls aren’t feasible or are insufficient in reducing harmful exposures, respiratory protection must be properly selected and users must be fit tested. Workers also must be trained and follow both employer and manufacturer instructions for proper use, inspection, maintenance and storage of respiratory protection devices. This includes proper donning and doffing of devices.

The agency reminds employers that they’re responsible for providing NIOSH-approved respirators as necessary to protect worker health, as required by OSHA in its standards on respiratory protection.

Among the types of devices that can be used to protect workers are filtering facepiece respirators; elastomeric half-mask respirators; and half-mask, full-facepiece and hood/helmet powered air-purifying respirators. For any employer providing respirators, the process must include direction from an OSHA-required written respiratory protection program.

NIOSH’s respiratory protection webpage features answers to nearly 20 frequently asked questions.

In addition, NIOSH sets recommended exposure limits for airborne contaminants and OSHA mandates legal enforceable permissible exposure limits, with which employers are required to comply.


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.

Half of Noise-Exposed Workers Do Not Use Hearing Protection

First published by NIOSH

Photo property of NIOSH

Study Finds Over Half of Noise-Exposed Workers Do Not Use Hearing Protection When Exposed to Noise on the Job

Non-use varied by industry and occupation, and was highest among women, young workers, and current smokers

A new study from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) estimates that over half of noise-exposed workers didn’t use hearing protection “always” or “usually” when exposed to hazardous occupational noise. Hearing protection device (HPD) non-use was only measured in workers who reported exposure to noise on the job. The study was published online October 1, 2021 in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.

Researchers reviewed nearly 40,000 worker responses to the 2007 and 2014 National Health Interview Survey. They found that of the more than 5,400 workers who experience hazardous noise exposure at work, 53% didn’t “always” or “usually” wear hearing protection.

Industries with the highest prevalence of hearing protection device nonuse were accommodation and food services (90%), health care and social assistance (83%), and education services (82%). Prevalence also was notably high in multiple industries in which occupational noise is a longstanding hazard, including agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (74%) and construction (52%).

“The prevalence of HPD nonuse remains high,” Elizabeth Masterson, study co-author and NIOSH epidemiologist, said in the release. “Increasing worker awareness and providing training about the importance of proper and consistent used of HPDs can protect workers from the effects of hazardous noise. In addition, we need to overcome barriers to HPD use by ensuring that workers have HPDs that are comfortable and do not overprotect from noise so they can hear speech and other important workplace signals.”

The study was published online Oct. 1 in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.


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.

Ladders and overhead power lines

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication
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From 1992 to 2005, at least 154 workers were killed after a metal ladder they were using came in contact with an overhead power line, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data cited in a recent NIOSH review.

“As part of the site safety program and orientation,” NIOSH says, “make supervisors and workers aware of power line distances from work areas, including ladder length and ladder staging areas. Use site diagrams to communicate this information and ground-level signs or taped markers to remind workers of overhead power line locations.”

To help prevent injuries and fatalities, NIOSH recommends workers:

  • Look up. You need to know the location of overhead power lines before starting any job. “Always assume all overhead lines are energized and dangerous,” the agency says.
  • Don’t use metal ladders when working around or near overhead power lines.
  • Carry a ladder horizontally and in a lowered position when moving it. If a ladder is too long for one person to carry, ask for help.
  • Follow the 1:4 rule: “For every 4 feet between the ground and the upper point where a ladder is resting, set the feet of the ladder out 1 foot horizontally. For example, if the ladder is resting on the edge of a roof 16 feet above the ground, the bottom of the ladder should be 4 feet out from that edge.”
  • Don’t touch or go near a person or ladder that has come in contact with an overhead power line.

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.

Respiratory Protection Week is September 7–10!

First published by NIOSH

Respiratory Protection Week, September 7-10, 2021

Photo: NIOSH

The NIOSH National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory website has a new look that is part of this year’s Respiratory Protection Week observance. The update includes a revamping of the Respirator Trusted Source, which now has the most recent and relevant respiratory protection information and answers to frequently asked questions. During the week NIOSH will also present two webinars: The September 7 webinar will be an overview of how technologies may be applied to respiratory protection and other types of personal protective equipment (PPE), the new role of PPE in nontraditional settings, and how to close PPE gaps for underserved populations. Then, on September 9, NIOSH will join presenters from OSHA and the FDA in a webinar to clarify information about the U.S. Respiratory Protection authorities.


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.

Machinist dies after being pulled into manual lathe

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication
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Case report: 21KY002
Issued by: Kentucky State Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation Program
Date of incident: Feb. 17, 2021

A 52-year-old machinist at a manufacturing company was preparing to spot drill the center of a 103-inch piece of round steel in a manual lathe. Because of the length of the steel, 24 inches of the material was protruding out of the back of the unguarded lathe, held in place with an aftermarket clamping device that rotates as the lathe rotates. Security footage showed that while the lathe was in operation and the steel rod was spinning, the machinist attempted to grab a glove from the top of the lathe. The sleeve of his shirt became entangled on the clamping device, pulling him into the lathe between the motor and rotating piece of steel. As the lathe continued to turn, the machinist’s body rotated around the piece of steel and struck the motor about 12 times. An employee in the changing room heard the event, ran out to investigate, shut down the machine and called emergency medical services. First responders transported the partially conscious machinist to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Cause of death was listed as traumatic blunt force injuries.

To help prevent similar occurrences, employers should:

  • Fabricate or purchase guarding and affix it to machines to protect operators from rotating components.
  • Mark “No entry areas” clearly and provide applicable training.
  • Prohibit machine operators from wearing loose-fitting clothing while operating lathes.
  • Consider implementing a job hazard analysis procedure.
  • Regularly provide hazard awareness training to 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.

Respiratory Protection Week set for Sept. 7-10

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication
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Photo: NIOSH

 NIOSH’s National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory has marked Sept. 7-10 as its annual Respiratory Protection Week, an event intended to promote proper respiratory protection practices through the sharing of related research findings and educational tools.

In 2019, NIOSH expanded N95 Day, which had been observed since 2012, into Respiratory Protection Week.

As organizations continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, NIOSH says it has remained focused on developing information products to address frequently asked questions related to respiratory protection and personal protective equipment.

“This extraordinary time emphasizes the importance of respiratory protection and PPE,” NPPTL Director Maryann D’Alessandro said in a press release. “We are excited to spread awareness on this topic, spotlight our valuable resources and provide insight into our vision regarding the future of PPE.”

NIOSH is set to host separate one-hour webinars:

For more information, follow updates from @NIOSH_NPPTL on Twitter.


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.

Safe + Sound Week: August 9–15

First published by NIOSH

Once again, NIOSH, OSHA, and their partners are sponsoring Safe + Sound Week. Safe + Sound Week is a nationwide event to celebrate the successes of businesses that have implemented safety and health programs in the workplace. Every August, these businesses are invited to celebrate their safety successes and efforts to be #SafeAndSoundAtWork. Registration opens July 7!

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 3,400 businesses helped to raise awareness about workers’ health and safety!

Check out our event archive for information on previous years’ engagement.


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

 

NIOSH seeks information on PPE for ‘underserved’ workers

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

information on PPE for underserved workers

Washington — NIOSH is seeking input on personal protective equipment use, availability, accessibility, acceptability and knowledge for “underserved” workers, according to a notice published in the June 24 Federal Register.

“Underserved PPE user populations may include, but are not limited to, workers who are of an atypical size; who are members of a gender, racial, ethnic or linguistic minority group; who conduct nontraditional worker activities; or who are members of sub-disciplines that are not the primary focus of the current PPE activities within a larger field,” the notice states.

Information should be shared with NIOSH via a letter or email, and should include individual, company or institution name, location, and website (if available). The letters also should include contact information and “the primary motivation(s) for why you (or your organization) are responding,” along with relevant background information and knowledge of “any other organizations working in applicable issues.”

In addition, NIOSH asks that respondents describe experiences related to PPE use, availability, accessibility, acceptability and knowledge issues for underserved PPE user populations.

Other potential questions respondents can answer:

  • What data/information/resources did you find the most relevant/valuable?
  • How long have you or your organization been working with the PPE use, availability, accessibility, acceptability and knowledge issues for underserved populations?
  • Did your or your organization’s involvement change over time and, if so, how and why?
  • What achievements have you or your organizations realized through your work (e.g., publications, guidance, new/revised policies or procedures)?
  • What are your future plans on PPE use, availability, accessibility and knowledge for underserved populations?
  • Describe PPE gaps/barriers for underserved populations?
  • What research, service or policy gaps need to be addressed?

Letters of information are due by Aug. 23.


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.

NIOSH Announces Free, Confidential Screenings in 2021 for Coal Miners

First published by NIOSH
Miners entering a mobile screening vehicle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo property of NIOSH

In September 2021, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) will offer a series of free, confidential health screenings to coal miners as part of the Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program (CWHSP). The screenings are intended to provide early detection of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP), also known as black lung, a serious but preventable occupational lung disease in coal miners caused by breathing respirable coal mine dust.

The health screenings are provided through the state-of-the-art NIOSH mobile testing units at convenient community and mine locations. This year’s screenings will be held from September 9 through September 24 in areas throughout southern West Virginia.

“Black lung disease can occur in miners who work in mines of all sizes,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “Early detection of black lung disease allows underground, surface and contract miners to take the steps needed to keep it from progressing to severe lung disease.”

Screenings include a work history questionnaire, an x-ray, a respiratory assessment questionnaire, and blood pressure screening. The screenings typically take about 15 minutes and each individual miner is provided with their results. By law, each miner’s results are confidential. Individual medical information and test results are protected health information and not publicly disclosed. Spirometry, a common breathing test, will not be conducted during this year’s survey.

Participation in this program provides the coal miner:

  • An easy way of checking on their health
  • A confidential report regarding whether or not they have x-ray evidence of CWP

The NIOSH mobile health unit is considered a “healthcare setting” so COVID-19 prevention strategies will be followed.
Please watch for health screening locations, dates, and additional announcements on the CWHSP web pageCWHSP Facebook, and @NIOSHBreathe on Twitter.  Local and individual outreach will be done in all specific locations.  All coal miners – current, former, underground, surface, and those under contract – are welcome to participate.

NIOSH encourages miners and their families to go to the CWHSP web page to learn more about the program.  You may also call the toll-free number (1-888-480-4042) with questions.


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.

NSC celebrates 25 years of National Safety Month

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

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Itasca, IL — The National Safety Council, together with sponsor VelocityEHS, is encouraging employers to dedicate the month of June to improving their safety culture in recognition of National Safety Month. This year is the 25th anniversary of NSM, an annual observance created to inspire people to keep each other safe.

NSC launched NSM in 1996 to promote safe behaviors around the leading causes of preventable injuries and deaths at work, on the roads and in communities. According to the most recent data available, fatal work injuries and roadway deaths are on the rise, with 5,333 U.S. worker fatalities in 2019 (the highest total in more than a decade) and an estimated 42,060 people killed on the nation’s roads in 2020 – the highest number since 2007.

NSM participants have access to a variety of free materials on four weekly topics:
Week 1 – Prevent Incidents Before They Start: Identifying risks and taking proactive safety measures to reduce hazard exposure is crucial to creating a safe workplace.
Week 2 – Address Ongoing COVID-19 Safety Concerns: As the pandemic continues, employers play an important role in the expanding of operations, building trust around vaccines, promoting mental health and more.
Week 3 – It’s Vital to Feel Safe on the Job: Being yourself at work without fear of retaliation is necessary for an inclusive culture. The focus of leading organizations goes beyond only physical safety.
Week 4 – Advance Your Safety Journey: Safety is all about continuous improvement. Whether organizationally or individually, NSC and VelocityEHS can help provide guidance as organizations move forward in safety maturity.

“As organizations navigated the biggest workplace safety hazard in a generation, traditional safety risks never paused, and far too many people did not make it home to their loved ones at the end of their day,” NSC President and CEO Lorraine M. Martin said. “This year, we aim to inspire and support the EHS community to make people’s lives safer on and off the job. We are deeply grateful to VelocityEHS for their generous support of this important observance and shared commitment to safety.”

Access materials and learn more at nsc.org/nsm.


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.