News

NHTSA Unveils '5 to Drive' Teen Safety Campaign To Reduce High Death Rate of Teens

10-22-2013

Motor-vehicle crashes are the number one killer of teens in America; almost half of teens killed in crashes are the driver themselves

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today unveiled a new campaign that challenges parents to discuss five critical driving practices with their teenage drivers that can have the greatest beneficial impacts in the event of a crash. The new "5 to Drive" campaign is being launched to coincide with National Teen Driver Safety Week, October 20-26, 2013.

"Safety is our highest priority, especially when it comes to teens, who are often our least experienced drivers," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "The ‘5 to Drive’ campaign gives parents and teens a simple, straightforward checklist that can help them talk about good driving skills and most importantly, prevent a tragedy before it happens."

NHTSA data show motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers 14-18 years-old in the United States. In 2011, 2,105 teen drivers were involved in fatal crashes. Of those teens involved in fatal crashes, 1,163 (55 percent) survived, and 942 (45 percent) died in the crash.

The "5 to Drive" campaign encourages parents to visit www.safercar.gov/parents/teendriving and discuss with their teens one safety topic each day during national teen driver safety week.

The "5 to Drive" campaign topics are:

1. No cell phone use or texting while driving,
2. No extra passengers,
3. No speeding,
4. No alcohol, and
5. No driving or riding without a seat belt.

The list is designed to counteract poor driving decisions that have contributed heavily to the high death rate among teen drivers, as evidenced by:

--In 2011, over half of the teen occupants of passenger vehicles who died in crashes were unrestrained;
--Speeding was a factor in 35 percent of fatal crashes involving a teen driver;
--Twelve percent of teen drivers involved in fatal crashes were distracted at the time; and
--In 2011, 505 people nationwide died in crashes in which drivers between 14 and 18 years old had alcohol in their systems, despite the fact that all states have Zero Tolerance Laws for drinking and driving under age 21.

Peer pressure is also a contributing factor in teen crash deaths. When the teen driver in a fatal crash was unrestrained, almost four-fifths of that driver’s teen passengers were unrestrained as well. Moreover, one NHTSA study found that a teenage driver was 2.5 times more likely to engage in risky behaviors when driving with one teenage passenger and three times more likely with multiple teenager passengers.

"Inexperience and immaturity, combined with speed, drinking and driving, not wearing seat belts, distracted driving, and other teen passengers contribute to the high fatality rate of teens involved in fatal crashes," said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. "I encourage all parents of teenagers to have an open discussion with their teen about the dangers common among young drivers and to make sure they use our '5 To Drive' program to develop the necessary skills to drive safely every trip, every time."

Poor decisions among teen drivers can lead to crashes and fatalities at any time of the day, but fatal teen driver crashes are most frequent between 3 and 8 p.m., and remain high until midnight.

Read about Teen Driver Safety in NHTSA's October issue of Safety in Numbers, a new online monthly newsletter on hot topics in auto safety – including problem identification, people at risk, and recommended practices and solutions to mitigate injury and death on our nation’s roadways.
For interesting quotes from teens themselves about risky driving behaviors, click here.

For more information on the "5 to Drive" campaign, visit www.safercar.gov/parents/fivetodrive.htm and join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Stay connected with NHTSA via: Facebook.com/NHTSA | Twitter.com/NHTSAgov | YouTube.com/USDOTNHTSA | SaferCar.gov

NIOSH launches 'gateway' to safety data

09-27-2013

A new webpage from NIOSH features occupational safety and health data for the public, industry and researchers. Launched Sept. 18, the NIOSH Data and Statistics Gateway includes surveillance data, statistics and other scientific information that can be downloaded, as well as links to NIOSH investigations, hazardous materials databases and product databases, according to a NIOSH press release.

FMCSA withdraws proposal on entry-level driver training requirements

09-27-2013

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has withdrawn its 2007 proposal on entry-level training requirements for commercial motor vehicle drivers and will begin a new rulemaking process.
FMCSA's 2007 proposal would have established a minimum number of training hours that entry-level CMV drivers would need to complete before receiving a license. FMCSA received mixed feedback on the proposal from more than 700 commenters, with some criticizing an hours-based approach and recommending FMCSA instead require new drivers to simply meet driving skill performance standards through training. According to the Sept. 19 withdrawal notice, FMCSA is researching the effectiveness of different types of training on drivers' safety performance and will base a new rule in part on the research findings.

FMCSA also stated that a new rulemaking process would allow the agency to better address mandates on developing training requirements from MAP-21, a 2012 surface transportation funding bill. MAP-21 requires FMCSA to establish specific training requirements for drivers seeking hazardous materials or passenger endorsements, which were not covered in the 2007 proposal.

Washington drivers' use of cell phones higher than expected: study

09-27-2013

Driving while using cell phones or other electronic devices may be more prevalent in Washington state than experts originally believed, according to preliminary data from the University of Washington.
Researchers from the university's Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center observed 7,800 drivers at various intersections in six Washington counties and found that more than 8 percent of drivers were observed using electronic devices behind the wheel, a center press release states.

Among the observed distracted drivers, 45 percent were texting. Nearly as many were talking on a handheld phone and, of those, half were holding the device near or under the steering wheel – a "high-risk" behavior that diverts a driver's attention from the road, according to the press release.

The preliminary findings are part of a larger study planned to be released later this year on the effectiveness of enforcement on discouraging drivers in the state from using distracted devices behind the wheel.

Government updates guidelines on workplace exposure to HIV

08-22-2013

The U.S. Public Health Service has published new guidelines for how health care personnel should handle occupational exposure to HIV.
In the event of exposure, the new guidelines call for immediately putting the worker on a post-exposure prophylaxis regimen consisting of three or more antiretroviral drugs. These guidelines replace the previous recommendation to first assess the level of risk to determine the number of drugs for the PEP regimen.

Exposed workers should complete a four-week regimen and undergo follow-up HIV testing, monitoring for drug toxicity, and counseling, according to the guidelines. The guidelines were developed by an interagency working group and published online Aug. 6 in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

Free course focuses on workplace violence in health care industry

08-22-2013

NIOSH on Aug. 12 released a free online course intended to help nurses and other health care professionals recognize and prevent workplace violence. Nurses can receive continuing education credits for taking the course, which is divided into 13 units and includes quizzes, videos depicting workplace incidents and nurses sharing their experiences. According to NIOSH, health care workers represented approximately two-thirds of nonfatal workplace violence injuries over the past 10 years.

Lack of rest leads to poor food decision-making: study

08-22-2013

People are more likely to choose unhealthy foods after being sleep-deprived, concludes a new study from the University of California, Berkeley. Using MRI technology, researchers compared the brain activity and food choices of 23 healthy young adults after a normal night's rest and a night of little rest. The scans showed that lack of sleep was associated with reduced activity in the frontal lobe – which is the part of the brain that helps people make complex decisions – but increased activity in the region of the brain that responds to incentives, according to a UC Berkeley press release. Also, when presented with images of vegetables, fruit, burgers, pizza and doughnuts, sleep-deprived people were more likely to crave the high-calorie foods.

Researchers concluded that the frontal lobe becomes "blunted" by sleep deprivation, leading people to desire high-calorie foods. Conversely, they said, being well-rested can give the brain the boost it needs to make healthier food decisions. The study was published online Aug. 6 in the journal Nature Communications.

What is Alive at 25?

07-23-2013

The Alive at 25 program is focused on the 15-24 age group and is designed to be an early intervention program to help prevent traffic violations, collisions, and/or fatalities. The purpose of this program is to educate young drivers to adopt safer driving practices, take responsibility for their behavior in various driving situations, and to be aware of peer pressure, environmental distractions, State Graduated Drivers License
requirements and driving hazards in general.


DID YOU KNOW?

Traffic crashes are the #1 cause of death for people between the ages of 16-24, accounting for 44% of teen deaths in the United States.

More than 3,800 young drivers are killed every year in traffic crashes. Approximately 30% of crashes killing young drivers involve alcohol.

OSC has grant funds to offer this program for free to any employers, high schools, churches, etc!

Senate confirms Perez as next secretary of labor

07-19-2013

The Senate confirmed Thomas Perez on July 18 as secretary of labor with a 54-46 vote. Perez, who is a former secretary of labor for Maryland and most recently served in the Department of Justice as its top civil rights attorney, will become the 26th secretary of labor. He takes over for Hilda L. Solis, who stepped down from the position in January. President Barack Obama nominated Perez on March 18.

OSHA takes $28 million hit from sequester

05-17-2013

OSHA has removed nearly $11 million from its federal compliance assistance budget to counteract the effect of across-the-board cuts on federal enforcement activities.

The cuts, also known as the sequester, went into effect March 1 and impact every aspect of the agency. OSHA is losing $28.4 million from its original $563.7 million overall funding for fiscal year 2013, according to a Department of Labor document (.pdf file) received through a request to the agency.

The sequester would have reduced funding for federal enforcement activities to $196.9 million from $207.8 million, but OSHA's adjustments actually increased funding to $207.9 million.
The agency's funding for federal compliance assistance was cut to $61.5 million from $72.4 million. Prior to the sequester, the funding level was $76.4 million.

Other notable cuts caused by the sequester include state programs ($5.2 million), safety and health standards ($1 million), and whistleblower protections ($798,504).

New law changes Oklahoma's workers' comp system

05-17-2013

Oklahoma's court-based workers' compensation system will transition to an administrative system under legislation signed May 6 by Gov. Mary Fallin (R). In addition to restructuring the system, the Administrative Workers' Compensation Act (S.B. 1062) allows employers to opt out of the state's workers' comp system as long as they provide similar benefits to injured employees. An administrative system will improve the timeliness of claims processing and reduce the "adversarial nature of the process for both workers and employers," according to a press release from Fallin's office.

BLS releases revised workplace fatality figures

04-26-2013

Washington In 2011, 4,693 workers died on the job, according to Revised Numbers(.pdf file) issued April 25 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

BLS reported a preliminary count of 4,609 deaths in September. The revised figure for 2011 is virtually even with the previous year's final figure of 4,690.

The rate of worker deaths per 100,000 full-time workers remained the same from the preliminary report to final report – 3.5. This represents a slight decrease from the 2010 final rate of 3.6.

Changes between the September and April reports were caused by updates to the 2011 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries file that were made after the preliminary results were released, and include identification of new cases and revisions of existing cases.

Obama on OSHA budget: More for whistleblower protection, less for compliance assistance

04-12-2013

OSHA would receive an increase of $6 million in whistleblower protection funding and about $2 million for the development of standards under a budget (.pdf file) proposed April 10 by President Barack Obama.

Under the president's budget, OSHA would receive $573 million for fiscal year 2014 a slight increase from the $571 million the agency is receiving in the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.

To make up for the increases in whistleblower protection and standards development, Obama is proposing slightly decreased funding for federal enforcement, state programs and compliance assistance.

NIOSH seeks help from contractors for silica study

04-12-2013

Construction contractors who work with fiber cement siding are being asked to participate in a NIOSH study that aims to determine the effectiveness of a low-cost silica control measure.

NIOSH wants to determine if connecting a regular shop vacuum to a circular saw can reduce silica exposure when cutting fiber cement siding. Workers would wear a small sampling device on their clothing and use NIOSH-provided equipment as part of the study. Interruptions to collect the samples would be limited and workers can do their jobs as they normally would, according to NIOSH.

The institute is specifically looking for contractors whose companies have:

At least three years of field experience cutting fiber cement siding with a circular saw
Installed fiber cement siding on at least three large residential jobs
An upcoming job where fiber cement siding will be cut and installed during at least three eight-hour days

Interested contractors should email NIOSH at nioshblog@cdc.gov.

NTSB: Phone distraction, texting probable factors in fatal helicopter crash

04-12-2013

Distraction from cell phone use may have contributed to a fatal medical helicopter crash in August 2011, according to the synopsis of a National Transportation Safety Board report.

Cell phone records show the pilot placed and received multiple calls and text messages before and during a flight to deliver a patient between hospitals in Missouri. The crash occurred after the helicopter engine flamed out from fuel exhaustion within 1 mile of a refueling airport. The pilot's distraction may have contributed to the errors and poor decision-making that caused the crash, NTSB stated. The pilot should have realized that the helicopter was under-fueled during the pre-trip inspection and should have delayed the trip, the board concluded.

NTSB recommended the Federal Aviation Administration prohibit personal use of portable electronic devices during safety-critical pre-flight activities, and incorporate information on the effects of distraction into pilot training programs.

Obama nominates DOJ civil rights attorney for labor secretary

03-22-2013

President Barack Obama on March 18 nominated his head civil rights attorney, Thomas Perez, to be the new secretary of labor. Perez has served in the Department of Justice as the assistant attorney general for civil rights since 2009. Prior to that, he was the secretary of labor for Maryland. Before assuming the post, Perez must be confirmed by the Senate. Perez would take over for Acting Secretary of Labor Seth Harris, who has filled the role since Hilda L. Solis stepped down in January.

CSB announces public meeting on refinery fatigue standard

03-22-2013

The Chemical Safety Board has scheduled a public meeting for April 24 to discuss progress made by the American Petroleum Institute and United Steelworkers on developing a fatigue standard for refinery and petrochemical industries. The agency called on USW and API to develop a consensus standard in 2007 as part of CSB's investigation into the fatal 2005 explosion at BP's Texas City refinery. In advance of the meeting, CSB is accepting comment through April 12 on its draft evaluation (.pdf file) of the groups' actions. The meeting, set to take place in Washington, also will address recommendations CSB made to OSHA regarding fuel gas safety and process safety management regulations for organizational changes and atmospheric storage tanks.

OSC Leadership Breakfast Meeting

03-22-2013

The Oklahoma Safety Council is hosting our Leadership Breakfast meeting on May 14, 2013 at the Sportsmans Club from 7:30 am 8:30 am. The events goal is to provide ideas, resources and guidance to our member company management as leaders of people. Safety will be included and brought into subject matter, but the primary spotlight will be to focus in on offering leadership qualities. Some examples that we will tackle at this and subsequent leadership meetings are:

Managing Change, Building Trust, Organizational Structure, How to Influence People, Decision Making, Problem Solving, Ethics in Business, Building Enthusiasm and Changing Culture.

We intend on finding premier speakers who have great experience in the areas of teaching leadership qualities. Our next breakfast meeting speaker will be Donna Rynda, Owner & Training Consultant of Make It Matter!

"The Power of Exemplary Leadership in the Workplace"

Session Overview:
What we do and how we do it affects those around us whether we realize it or not. Sowhat are already doing to more positively impact the lives of our colleagues, clients, and community? And how can we be an even-more inspiring role-model for those who look to us for leadership and/or guidance?

This session will address those questions as we discover specific strategies for embracing our leadership role as representatives of our organizations image and initiatives.

Session Objectives:
1) List the attributes of those who practice exemplary leadership with or without a title!

2) Identify the most critical skill for leadership development

3) Explain the Four-Step L-E-A-D Leadership Process

The Leadership Breakfast meeting will be held at Sportsmans Country Club located at 4001 NW 39th Street in Oklahoma City. Register online today!

Start planning now for Distracted Driving Awareness Month

02-22-2013

The National Safety Council estimates 1 in 4 crashes involve cell phone use while driving. Each April, the Council observes Distracted Driving Awareness Month to remember the lives that have been tragically lost in cell phone related crashes, but also to bring national attention to the issue of cell phone distracted driving.

The focus of this year's campaign - What were you thinking? - is on cognitive distraction, or the distraction to the brain from a cell phone conversation. Many people have a false sense of security that hands-free devices are safer - but research indicates no safety benefit from these devices as the distraction to the brain remains. The unfortunate truth is that your brain can miss seeing up to 50% of your driving environment when you are talking on a cell phone. This could be a stop sign, a traffic light or even a pedestrian.

You can find a variety of free posters, fact sheets and videos that we hope you would share at nsc.org/ddmonth

OSC hosting its first leadership breakfast meeting

12-18-2012

The Oklahoma Safety Council is hosting its first breakfast meeting, February 5, 2013 at the Sportsman's Club from 7:30 am - 8:30 am. The inaugural event's goal is to provide ideas, resources and guidance to our member company management as leaders of people.

Safety will be included and brought into subject matter, but the primary spotlight will be to focus in on offering leadership qualities. Some examples that we will tackle at this and subsequent leadership meetings are:

- Managing Change
- Building Trust
- Organizational Structure
- How to Influence People
- Decision Making
- Problem Solving
- Ethics in Business
- Building Enthusiasm
- Changing Culture

We intend on finding premier speakers who have great experience in the areas of teaching leadership qualities. Our first breakfast meeting speaker will be Tom Hill, CEO of Kimray and founder of the Character First program, principled on building an organization on ethical principles as below described.

Since 1992, Character First has been in the business of providing values-based materials and training for a variety of workplace environments, including for-profit, non-profit, government, education, and law enforcement. Services include cultural analysis, personal assessments, customized product design, all-employee engagement, leadership training, and executive coaching.

Each month, Character First trains hundreds of business leaders, managers, and employees on topics such as Building Trust, Combating Negativity, Building Teamwork, Communication Skills, and Managing Conflict.

We are in hopes that we will help bring leadership educational subjects to all levels of management within your organization; not only for safety managers, but for supervisors to CEOs. So, safety managers, please invite your supervisor as well! We look forward to seeing you at our first event!

Copy the link below to tegister online

http://oksafety.org/trainingcourse_details.php?c=180

OSC Adds New Distraced Driving DVD to Video Library

12-18-2012

Do you want to learn more about cell phone distracted driving? Are you interested in helping others learn about the dangers? Viewers will learn what cognitive distraction is and how it impairs drivers, regardless if they are using a handheld or hands-free phone. Discover why this issue is being targeted as opposed to other distractions and what you can to do help make our roadways safer. We also share the stories of those who have been hurt or killed in distracted driving crashes.

Decorate safely during the holidays

11-30-2012

Following safe decorating practices can help prevent injuries this holiday season, the Energy Education Council advises. EEC cites Consumer Product Safety Commission statistics showing that every year, approximately 14,000 people are treated in emergency departments for holiday decorating injuries.

The council's Safe Electricity program offers the following tips:
Make sure all electronic decorations and lights are certified by a laboratory such as UL, ETL or CSA.

Inspect cords and electrical equipment before using them.

Turn off or unplug lights before going to sleep.

Do not overload extension cords or outlets.

If you are using a ladder, stay 10 feet from overhead power lines at all times, in all directions.

CPSC also offers a video on safe holiday decorating.

NTSB releases Most Wanted list for 2013

11-30-2012

The National Transportation Safety Board on Nov. 14 released its annual list of "Most Wanted" transportation priorities for 2013.
Six of the 10 items on the list focus on highway travel (where most transportation fatalities take place), including the No. 1 cause of fatalities substance abuse among drivers, NTSB stated in a press release.

The list covers six new areas: distraction, fire safety, infrastructure integrity, pipeline safety, positive train control systems and motor vehicle collision avoidance technologies.

"We're releasing the list now so it is available to policymakers at the state and federal levels as well as industry groups as they craft their priorities for 2013," NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman said in the press release.

Standards Improvement Project pre-rule review complete

11-30-2012

The Office of Management and Budget has completed its review of a proposed OSHA rule to streamline construction regulations by removing or revising duplicative and inconsistent standards.

Currently a pre-rule, Standards Improvement Project IV is the fourth such rule put forth by OSHA as part of an effort to reduce employer costs or paperwork burdens. This rulemaking is the first to focus solely on construction industry standards, whereas previous rulemakings were geared toward general industry.

OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs received the pre-rule for review Aug. 23 and completed its review Nov. 21.

OSHA proposes digger-derrick exemption to Cranes and Derricks Standard

11-16-2012

Washington An OSHA rule (.pdf file) published Nov. 9 would provide an exemption to the Cranes and Derricks Standard for digger-derrick work.

The Edison Electric Institute previously filed suit against OSHA to amend the Cranes and Derricks Standard, and the two parties settled with the understanding that OSHA would craft a rulemaking exempting digger-derrick operations from the 2010 updated version of the standard.

Coupled with the final rule is an identical proposed rule (.pdf file). If OSHA receives significant adverse comment on the final rule, the agency will proceed with the proposed rule; otherwise, it will move forward with the final rule. Comments are due Dec. 10.

NIOSH provides tips for avoiding slips, trips and falls

11-16-2012

Washington A new publication (.pdf file) from NIOSH addresses preventing slips, trips and falls in wholesale and retail trade establishments.

Slips, trip and falls the third most common cause of lost-workday injuries in wholesale and retail trade occur due to factors such as slippery surfaces; loose mats or rugs; poor lighting; employee fatigue; and inappropriate, loose or poor-fitting footwear, according to NIOSH.

The tips offered include:
Ensure aisles are free of clutter and other tripping hazards.
Provide cleanup supplies at convenient locations in the facility.
Place water-absorbent mats near entrances and areas where water, ice or snow may be tracked onto the floor.
Train employees on identifying and preventing slip, trip and fall hazards.

Employees can help by taking the following precautions:
Push (rather than pull) carts to allow a better line of sight.
Walk with caution and make wide turns at corners.
Clean surfaces as soon as they become wet.
Place warning signs in wet floor areas and remove them when floor is clean and dry.

An estimated 40,000 lives could be saved each year

11-12-2012

The Oklahoma Safety Council distributes safe, reliable and easy-to-use Philips HeartStart automated external defibrillator (AED). In an emergency, an AED checks the heart rhythm and can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm. AEDs are used to treat sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. Sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time, and every minute that passes lowers the chance of survival by ten percent. Federal OSHA has recommended that all employers have an AED. Philips AEDs are extremely user-friendly and literally "talk" you through each step.

$400 worth of FREE accessories included in each AED package. Call us at 405-848-8626 for details or visit us online at

http://oksafety.org/products_trainingitems.php?d=3

DRIVE AWARE OKLAHOMA WEEK FOCUSES ATTENTION ON DISTRACTED DRIVING

10-22-2012

Drive Aware Oklahoma, an advocacy group of volunteer organizations concerned about traffic safety, kicked off Drive Aware Oklahoma Week today with news conferences in Tulsa and Oklahoma City and an official DAO Week proclamation from Gov. Mary Fallin.

Since first introducing a distracted driving proposal in 2006, until now, accident injuries and fatalities have steadily increased, while legislation like mine has consistently stalled, said Oklahoma Sen. Constance Johnson, a speaker at the Oklahoma City news conference today. Drive Aware Oklahoma Week will help to increase citizen awareness about the issue of distracted driving, as well as hopefully motivate citizens to get engaged in the process and to add their voices to the call for policy change in this area. This type of information will enable citizens to have meaningful dialog with legislators who make the decisions.

According to research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and others, reported distracted driving in fatal crashes jumped from seven percent in 2005 to 11 percent in 2009. Cell phone use was the major distraction in crashes that killed nearly 1,000 people and injured another 24,000 people nationwide.

Distracted driving is the number one killer of American teens, said Cherrish Abinah, a senior at Edmond Memorial High school and co-president of the schools FCCLA chapter, another speaker at the news conference. Our goal is to raise awareness and put an end to this deadly statistic.


The week before Halloween was chosen as Drive Aware Oklahoma Week to remind motorists to stay safe during weekend activities and to watch out for trick-or-treaters on Oct. 31.

"As law enforcement officers, we all too often see the tragic results of driving while distracted," said Officer Craig Murray, Tulsa Police Department. "Driving is a task that requires full attention and we urge everyone to put the phone away or ask someone else in the car to be the 'designated texter.' No text or call is worth endangering your own life or that of others."

OSHA launches pilot program to resolve whistleblower cases

10-05-2012

OSHA on Oct. 2 announced a new alternative dispute resolution pilot program for whistleblower cases. Under the program, which will be implemented in OSHA Regions 5 and 9, two voluntary methods of alternative dispute resolution will be available: early resolution and mediation, an OSHA press release stated. An OSHA regional alternative dispute resolution coordinator will be available to provide assistance to both complainants and employers. OSHA said these alternative methods can help resolve cases in a "cooperative and voluntary manner."

California workers' comp reform passes into law

10-01-2012

San Diego Under California's new workers' compensation reform law, the state's employers can expect reduced costs and improved training for workers, the governor's office claims.

Gov. Edmund G. Brown (D) signed the legislation (SB 863) into law Sept. 18. Brown said the reforms will stop a projected increase in rates and save employers millions of dollars by cutting waste from the workers' comp system. He said the law also:

Increases permanent disability benefits by 30 percent
Increases payments to injured workers for job retraining
Provides a more predictable and objective benefit delivery system

Workers' comp insurance costs in the state jumped more than $5 billion in the past two years and were expected to increase to more than $21 billion from $19 billion in the near future. The new law reduces inefficiencies and unnecessary expenses, which is expected to save businesses $1 billion in 2013, according to a press release from the governor's office.

Call for Speakers & Presentations

08-22-2012

The Oklahoma Safety Council (OSC) will begin the planning efforts for the 2013 Oklahoma Safety & Health Conference scheduled for June 26-28, 2012 at the Embassy Suites in Norman, OK. Each year, we host the largest safety and health conference in the state. The 2013 Oklahoma Safety & Health Conference will be jointly hosted by the Oklahoma Safety Council and the Oklahoma Department of Labor (OKDOL). Over the course of two days, more than 500 participants will have the opportunity to hear speakers on a variety of safety and health related topics, pursue ongoing educational accreditation, participate in courses designed for OSHA compliance and network with peer professionals. For more information contact Kellie Warrior at 405-848-8626.

Employers End Distracted Driving

08-22-2012

Employers have realized the dangers of cell phone use while driving and are taking actions to make our roadways safer by implementing comprehensive cell phone policies. The National Safety Council recommends policies include both hands-free and handheld devices and cover all employees. Organizations are encouraged to use the free NSC Cell Phone Policy Kit.

Updated in April 2012, the kit includes everything organizations need to implement or strengthen a cell phone ban including resources for executives, materials and guides for the implementation team and educational materials for employees. This free kit helps you reduce crash risk, with materials to:
X Build leadership support in your organization for a cell phone policy
X Communicate to employees the crash risks and the need for a policy
X Please use our step-by-step guide to download the kit

Visit the National Safety Council at www.nsc.org to download your free NSC Cell Phone Policy Kit.

Call for Speakers & Presentations

07-05-2012

The Oklahoma Safety Council (OSC) will begin the planning efforts for the 2013 Oklahoma Safety & Health Conference scheduled for June 26-28, 2012 at the Embassy Suites in Norman, OK. Each year, we host the largest safety and health conference in the state. The 2013 Oklahoma Safety & Health Conference will be jointly hosted by the Oklahoma Safety Council and the Oklahoma Department of Labor (OKDOL).

Over the course of two days, more than 500 participants will have the opportunity to hear speakers on a variety of safety and health related topics, pursue ongoing educational accreditation, participate in courses designed for OSHA compliance and network with peer professionals. Our goal is to provide attendees with the knowledge they can take back to their workplace to enhance productivity.

The OSC would like to invite those interested in presenting at the 2013 Oklahoma Safety & Health Conference to submit a proposal designed to help the attendee:

* Identify key issues in safety and health
* Identify emerging issues related to safety and health
* Expand their knowledge and improve skills

Presentation description:
Describe your presentation and specify what our attendees can expect to get out of your presentation? Please ensure that you indicate if this is an individual session (1-2 speakers) or a group/panel session (3 or more speakers).

Biographical information:
For each speaker include name, contact phone number, email address, mailing address, education, current position, certifications, designations, qualifications and relevant speaking experience.

Brochure description:
Provide a description in 50 words of your presentation to be used in marketing materials.

Length of presentation:
All presentations are in 60 minute in length, which should also include 15 minutes for questions.

Acceptance notification:
The OSC anticipates having all speakers and sessions set by October 15, 2012. If your presentation is selected the OSC will send you a speaker commitment form that will be due back within 7-10 days.

Request submission
All requests should be sent to Kellie Warrior at the Oklahoma Safety Council located at 4323 NW 63rd Street, Suite 140, Oklahoma City, OK 73116. If you have any questions contact Kellie Warrior at 405-848-8626 or by email at kelliw@oksafety.org

Direct final rule updates head protection standards

07-02-2012

A new OSHA rule will update several head protection standards to align them with modern consensus standards. The direct final rule revises personal protective equipment sections for the construction, maritime and general industries to update references from the American National Standard for Industrial Head Protection's 1986 consensus standard to its 2009 version.

Specifically, the rule will update references found in 1910.135(b)(1), 1915.155(b)(1), 1917.93(b)(1) and 1918.103(b)(1) to recognize the 2009 edition of ANSI Z89.1, and will amend 1926.6 and 1926.100 to permit compliance with ANSI Z89.1-1997, ANSI Z89.1-2003 or ANSI Z89.1-2009. The rule also will remove some references to earlier versions of the consensus standard.

The update is scheduled to go into effect Sept. 20 unless OSHA receives "significant adverse comment" by July 23. The final rule was published in the June 22 Federal Register concurrently with an identical proposed rule. If significant adverse comments are received, the agency will proceed with the proposed rule process in lieu of the final rule.

House committee approves transportation funding bill

06-22-2012

The House Appropriations Committee approved a transportation funding bill for fiscal year 2013 that would provide additional funding to some safety programs while making cuts to others.

The $51.6 billion appropriations bill (.pdf file) for the Departments of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and related agencies was approved during a June 19 committee session and reported to the full house. Budget appropriations in the bill include:

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration $776.2 million, a $23.8 million reduction from FY 2012 and $200 million less than requested by the administration

National Transportation Safety Board $102.4 million, matching both the FY 2012 budget and FY 2013 request

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration $244.1 million, $3.6 million less than FY 2012 and $5.9 million less than requested

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration $23 million, a $1.7 million increase from FY 2012 and $2 million more than requested

Federal Railroad Administration, safety and operations $184 million, a $5.4 million increase from FY 2012 and $28 million more than requested

OSHA recordkeeping violations limited to 6 months, court rules

05-25-2012

Washington An appellate court rejected OSHA's view that the agency can cite an employer for recordkeeping violations after the six-month statute of limitations set out in the Occupational Safety and Health Act has expired.

In its April ruling (.pdf file), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated citations against industrial contractor AKM LLC that alleged the company failed to record injuries and illnesses.
The citations were issued in November 2006 for violations that occurred between January 2002 and April 2006. Lawyers for the secretary of labor argued the citations were the result of "continuing violations" that constituted an exception to the statute of limitations because the companys recordkeeping obligations remained unmet.
But the court asserted Congress never intended for the OSH Act's statute of limitations to be ignored, which means the citations issued were untimely. The court further suggested that the secretary's interpretation could be expanded limitlessly to allow for OSHA citations for a decades-old recordkeeping violation, adding there would be "truly no end to such madness."

OSHA clarifies inspector discretion in Steel Erection standard

05-25-2012

Washington OSHA inspectors should use their regular citation discretion and evaluate a number of factors when considering employer compliance with fall protection requirements in the Steel Erection standard, a May 21 memorandum to the agency's regional administrators said.

The standard 1926.754(b)(3) requires either a fully planked or decked floor or nets to be maintained directly under erection work. Previously, employers were considered in compliance if they instead used 100 percent fall protection. This action was referred to as a "de minimis" violation, which is considered minor and for which no citation may be issued. The "de minimis" policy was rescinded (.pdf file) in 2009.

In instances when employers use fall protection instead of following the standard's requirements, the memo clarifies inspectors should use their discretion on a case-by-case basis for issuing a citation by considering if 100 percent fall protection was provided, if the employer had provisions for a prompt rescue in the event of a fall, and if protection from falling objects was provided.

New advisory committee to address whistleblower protections

05-25-2012

Washington The Department of Labor recently announced plans to establish a new committee that would advise the secretary of labor on improving whistleblower protections.

The Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee would make recommendations on improvements to customer service models, enhancements to the investigative and enforcement process, training, regulations for OSHA investigations, and cooperation among federal agencies, according to a notice published in the May 17 Federal Register.

OSHA oversees whistleblower enforcement for 21 statutes. This announcement follows several efforts to strengthen the program, including reorganizing the Office of the Whistleblower Protection Program to report directly to OSHA administrator David Michaels.

OSHA, NIOSH team up to help prevent construction falls

05-04-2012

Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis on April 26 announced a new campaign from OSHA and NIOSH to help prevent falls in construction.
The "Safety Pays. Falls Cost." awareness campaign provides information and education materials about working on ladders, scaffolds and roofs, with an emphasis on residential contractors and vulnerable, low-literacy workers. According to OSHA, 255 construction workers died and 10,000 were injured as a result of falling from heights in 2010.

As part of the campaign, OSHA created a webpage on fall protection standards. NIOSH also maintains a webpage, and the Center for Construction Research and Training, which is affiliated with the AFL-CIO, highlights fall data on its website.

Solis announced the campaign at the Action Summit on Worker Safety and Health in honor of Workers Memorial Day.

CDC: 30 percent of workers sleep less than six hours a day

05-04-2012

About 40.6 million workers nearly one-third of the U.S. workforce went to work with a daily average of less than six hours of sleep in 2010, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers used data from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey to determine the levels of sleep deprivation by industry. Among the findings:
The industry with the highest amount of workers with poor sleep among all shifts was mining, with 41.6 percent of workers, followed by utilities, with 38 percent.

"Other services," not including public administration, had the lowest amount among all shifts at 24.1 percent, followed by the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting industry at 26.2 percent.

Among shift workers, night workers in the transportation and warehousing industry had the highest amount at 69.7 percent, followed by the health care and social assistance industry at 52.3 percent.

CDC recommended public health practitioners develop targeted interventions to help increase sleep levels for the most at-risk industries and groups.

Distracted driving behaviors high among college students: study

05-04-2012

Seventy-eight percent of college students reported that they drive while talking or texting on a cell phone, and about 50 percent said they text while driving on a freeway, according to a study conducted by the University of California, San Diego's Trauma Epidemiology and Injury Prevention Research Center.

Researchers analyzed 4,964 surveys from drivers with an average age of 21. They found:

47 percent of participants used hands-free devices at least half the time while driving.

25 percent used hands-free devices with high frequency while driving.

60 percent said they send texts while in stop-and-go traffic.

87 percent admitted to sending texts while stopped at traffic lights.

OSHA launches nursing and residential care facility NEP

04-13-2012

OSHA recently launched a National Emphasis Program for nursing and residential care facilities aimed at reducing serious safety and health hazards commonly found in medical industries.
OSHA will target nursing home and residential care facilities for the next three years through the NEP (.pdf file), the agency announced in an April 5 press release. The NEP provides guidance to OSHA compliance officers on targeting and conducting inspections in these facilities for hazards such as:

Blood or other infectious material
Communicable disease exposure
Ergonomic stressor related to patient lifting
Workplace violence
Slips, trips and falls

Workers in the nursing and residential care sector experience injuries and illnesses requiring days away from work at a rate that is more than 2 times greater than private industry as a whole, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. OSHA administrator David Michaels, who originally announced the NEP last year, said in the press release the NEP would "strengthen protections for society's caretakers."

NTSB announces forum on substance-impaired driving

04-13-2012

The National Transportation Safety Board will host its first-ever forum on eliminating substance-impaired driving, the agency recently announced.

The forum, scheduled to take place in Washington May 15 and 16, will be moderated by NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman. Panelists will include representatives from academia, research and advocacy organizations, industry, and state and federal agencies, according to an NTSB press release.

The agency hopes the forum will help generate ideas for new safety recommendations addressing substance-impaired driving, which can be attributed to about one-third of all roadway fatalities 10,000 in 2010 alone the press release stated.

The forum is open to the public and will be streamed via webcast. Specific topics and an agenda will be released in the near future, NTSB said.

OSHA Issues Final Rule on Hazcom

03-23-2012

Washington The final rule aligning OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard (1910.1200) with the United Nations' Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals was released March 20.

The new rule is intended to more easily communicate substances' hazards through labels and Safety Data Sheets with a standardized approach that will use pictograms, signal words, and hazard and precautionary statements.

In a teleconference with reporters, OSHA administrator David Michaels said the idea of the original standard could be considered as the workers' "right to know," and the update gives workers the "right to understand."

The final rule will be published in the March 26 Federal Register, and will go into effect 60 days later. The rule's requirements will go into effect in phases, beginning Dec. 1, 2013, with the requirement that employees must be trained on the new label elements and Safety Data Sheet formats.

New rule updates respirator certification requirements

03-16-2012

Washington NIOSH on March 8 published a final rule that updates its testing and certification requirements for closed-circuit escape respirators.

The respirators, known in the mining industry as self-contained self-rescuers, provide breathable air to protect wearers from toxic fumes and gases or insufficient oxygen. Among the new requirements:

Improved measures to ensure respirators are rugged enough to perform in harsh environments

A new capacity-rating system based on volume of usable oxygen instead of duration of time oxygen is provided

Upgraded testing standards to verify quality and quantity of breathing gas

The rule, which will be included in the new Subpart O of 42 CFR Part 84, is scheduled to go into effect April 9.

Researchers call for regulation of sugar consumption `

03-16-2012

San Francisco Sugar is one of the primary causes of a worldwide obesity pandemic and should be regulated similar to alcohol and tobacco, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco.

Researchers found that at levels consumed by most Americans, sugar changes metabolism, raises blood pressure, critically alters the signaling of hormones and causes liver damage much like the effects of drinking too much alcohol.

They also linked overconsumption of sugar to diabetes, heart disease and cancer health problems associated with 35 million deaths annually worldwide, according to a UCSF press release.

Focusing on individual prevention and personal choice are ineffective in curbing use, researchers said. Instead, efforts should be made to reduce availability and desirability similar to how cigarettes and alcohol are regulated and taxed.

The study was published in the Feb. 2 issue of the journal Nature.

OSHA's whistleblower program now reports directly to Michaels

03-09-2012

The OSHA program tasked with protecting employees from retribution after reporting violations of workplace regulations will now report directly to agency administrator David Michaels.

The Office of the Whistleblower Protection Program previously was overseen by the Directorate of Enforcement Programs, but the reorganization will elevate the priority status of whistleblower enforcement, OSHA said in a March 1 press release announcing the move.

The reorganization is part of OSHA's plan to strengthen enforcement of the program, which oversees 21 whistleblower laws. Other steps taken include establishing a separate budgetary line item for the program in the OSHA budget and launching pilot projects to evaluate structural changes in different OSHA regions that could strengthen the program.

Also on March 1, OSHA announced Sandra Dillon as director of the program. Dillon has served as the program's acting director since May 2011.

FDA issues AED recall

03-09-2012

The Food and Drug Administration has announced a recall of certain automated external defibrillators due to a defective component.
The defect could cause the AED to fail during a rescue attempt, and the unit's self-test may not detect the impending failure of the component, FDA said.

The AEDs were made and sold between July 1, 2011, and Dec. 20, 2011. Affected models include:

Powerheart 9300A, 9300E, 9300P, 9390A and 9390E
CardioVive 92532 and 92533
CardioLife 9200G and 9231
GE Responder and Responder Pro
Nihon-Kohden AEDs

FDA said customers should contact the manufacturer to return the device for repair.

NHTSA to discuss proposed distracted driving guidelines

03-09-2012

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has scheduled three public meetings to discuss federally proposed guidelines applying to electronic devices installed by vehicle manufacturers.

The meetings are scheduled to take place:
March 12 in Washington
March 15 in Chicago
March 16 in Los Angeles

Each meeting will take place from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., local time.
The NHTSA guidelines would establish criteria for electronic devices installed in light vehicles, such as cars and minivans weighing less than 10,000 pounds, and include recommendations to minimize unsafe levels of distraction.

Learn About Risk From Radon

01-02-2012

You cant see, smell, or taste radon, but it could be present at a dangerous level in your home. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers in America and claims the lives of about 20,000 Americans each year. In fact, the EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General urge all Americans to protect their health by testing their homes, schools, and other buildings for radon. Exposure to radon is a preventable health risk, and testing radon levels in your home can help prevent unnecessary exposure. If a high radon level is detected in your home, you can take steps to fix the problem to protect yourself and your family.

For more information visit http://www.epa.gov/radon/nram/index.html

OIG issues report on upcoming DOL challenges

12-02-2011

Washington The Department of Labor could protect the safety and health of workers more effectively with better evaluations of its enforcement programs, according to a report from the DOL Office of Inspector General.

Issued Nov. 15, the report (.pdf file) suggests OSHA should ensure its Severe Violator Enforcement Program is operating as intended, and the agency should improve its efforts in evaluating the impact of penalty reductions. OIG also recommended that OSHA compare State Plan programs' effectiveness in protecting workers to the effectiveness of federal OSHA.

Likewise, the Mine Safety and Health Administration should work toward completing all required inspections, finalize its proposed pattern-of-violations regulations, and collaborate with the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission to reduce the time spent resolving contested cases.

The report also covered 10 other challenges facing DOL, including improving the management of workers' compensation programs.

OMB receives OSHA recordkeeping rule change for review

12-02-2011

Washington A proposed OSHA rule that would update the agency's reporting system for occupational injuries and illnesses is undergoing review by the Office of Management and Budget.
OMB received the rule on Nov. 22; the review process typically takes about 90 days.

The rule would modernize the current reporting system by establishing the electronic collection of specific injury and illness data from employers on a timely basis, among other changes. Section 1904.41 of the Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illness Standard which specifies the annual collection of OSHA's injury and illness survey is expected to be changed.

Additional details about the proposed rule change were not immediately available.

Final rule bans handheld cell phone use by truck, bus drivers

12-02-2011

Washington The Department of Transportation on Nov. 23 announced a final rule (.pdf file) that bans commercial motor vehicle drivers from using handheld cell phones while driving.
CMV drivers who violate the final rule will face penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense and disqualification from operating a CMV for multiple offenses. Additionally, states can suspend a driver's commercial driver's license after two or more serious traffic violations. Commercial truck and bus companies that allow their drivers to use handheld cell phones while driving will face a maximum penalty of $11,000.

However, CMV drivers may use handheld mobile devices while driving under special circumstances, such as reporting suspected terrorist activity and contacting emergency services. Drivers also may use the devices if they are pulled off to the side of a highway or have "halted in a location where the vehicle can safely remain stationary," the final rule states.

The ban will go into effect 30 days following publication of the final rule in the Federal Register.

OSHA reopens comment period for reporting and recordkeeping revision rule

09-30-2011

Washington OSHA has reopened (.pdf file) the comment period for a proposed rule that would change employers' reporting requirements for some serious workplace injuries. It also would change injury and illness reporting exemptions. The comment period, which closes Oct. 28, was reopened at the request of the National Automobile Dealers Association.

The rule, originally proposed in June, would require employers to report to OSHA any in-patient hospitalization within eight hours and all work-related amputations within 24 hours. This differs from the current incident reporting standard (1904.39), which requires notification after at least three in-patient hospitalizations and has no amputation reporting requirements.

The rule also would require OSHA to use the North American Industry Classification System instead of the Standard Industrial Classification system, a change that would alter which industries are exempt from maintaining injury and illness records (1904.2).

"The proposed reporting revisions will enable OSHA to more effectively and efficiently target occupational safety and health hazards, preventing additional injuries and fatalities," OSHA administrator David Michaels said in June.

OSHA updates whistleblower manual

09-30-2011

Washington OSHA released an update to its Whistleblower Investigations Manual Sept. 21, the first such update in nearly a decade and part of a series of measures the agency is seeking in an effort to improve the Whistleblower Protection Program.

The manual (.pdf file) outlines procedures for handling retaliation complaints under a variety of whistleblower statutes that OSHA enforces. Major changes to the document include:

A requirement that investigators must attempt to interview the complainant in all cases
Clarification that whistleblower complaints may be filed orally, in writing or electronically via the WPP website, and are accepted in any language
Several new chapters for processing complaints under various statutes

SAVE-THE-DATE 2012 Safety & Health Conference

08-18-2011

2012 Safety & Health Conference
June 13-15 Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (Tulsa, OK)

Each year the Oklahoma Safety Council (OSC) hosts the largest Safety & Health Conference in the state. The 2012 Safety & Health Conference will once again be held at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tulsa, OK on June 13-15. Over the course of two days, more than 450 participants will have the opportunity to hear speakers on a variety of safety and health related topics, pursue ongoing education accreditation, participate in courses designed for OSHA compliance and network with peer professionals. Our goal is to provide you with the knowledge you can take back to your workplace to enhance productivity. On behalf of the OSC we encourage you to save-the-date and join us! If youre interested in becoming a sponsor or joining our conference planning committee, contact Kellie Warrior at 405-848-8626 or by email at kelliw@oksafety.org

OSHA makes changes to whistleblower program

08-18-2011

Washington V OSHA's Whistleblower Protection Program will report directly to agency administrator David Michaels instead of the Directorate of Enforcement, OSHA announced Aug. 1. The change is one of several intended to improve the program in light of deficiencies identified by the Government Accountability Office and an internal audit (.pdf file) from December 2010. GAO identified problems with transparency and accountability, investigator training, and internal communications.

As part of the restructuring, OSHA is testing changes in field structure and, beginning in fiscal year 2012, the agency's budget will have a separate line item for the whistleblower program to better track activity. The agency also added 25 new investigators.
Other measures include:

X Federal and State Plan whistleblower investigators will attend a national whistleblower training conference in September.
X A Whistleblower Investigations Manual will be issued with updated information on procedures, enforcement guidance and laws passed since 2003.
X A modified data collection system and audit program will ensure complaints are handled in a timely manner.

OK Inter Tribal Council to Host Safety Conference

08-18-2011

The Oklahoma Inter Tribal Safety Council (OITSC) will be holding a Health, Safety and Environmental conference on October 13, 2011 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel located at 2945 Northwest Expressway in Oklahoma City. The OITSC was originally organized in October of 2010 by representatives of the Chickasaw, Cherokee, Muscogee Creek, and Kiowa tribes representing casinos, hotels, and resorts. Since then the Kaw, Choctaw, Citizen Potawatomi, and Eastern Shawnee have joined the OITSC. The OITSCs mission statement is a simple yet powerful message; To foster open communications on health, safety and environmental issues between and for the Native American Tribes of Oklahoma, and to provide educational resources that will protect the health and welfare of all tribal members.

This one-day conference will feature speakers that will be covering topics on many of the health, safety, security and legal issues that affect many of the Native American businesses today. Speakers at the conference will be covering, Overview of Tribal Laws and their status in Oklahoma / Update of Legislative Changes In State Law; Work Place Violence Recognition and Procedures; Emergency Planning, Preparedness and Response; and a representative from the National Indian Gaming Commission will speak on Environmental, Safety and Health policies. Exhibitors will be at the conference displaying and demonstrating the latest in safety and health services and products. Native American tribes that are involved in the health and safety of tribal employees and guests are invited to attend along with employees involved in security/loss prevention and the gaming commission. Registration for attendees is $35 per person and discounts are available for multiple attendee registrations. For more information contact Rocky Waller at 405-848-8626 ext. 104.

OSHA warns of hazards associated with scissor lifts

07-15-2011

Washington OSHA on July 6 issued a hazard alert on the dangers of using portable hydraulic scissor lifts to film events and functions.

The alert comes after the Indiana Department of Labor settled with the University of Notre Dame regarding the October 2010 death of a 20-year-old student who was filming football practice atop a scissor lift when it was blown over by high winds. Indiana OSHA said the student worker reportedly lacked training and raised the lift more than 39 feet in winds exceeding 50 mph.

According to the alert, hazards include using a lift in bad weather or on unstable ground, overloading it with heavy objects, and removing guardrails during operation.

OSHA recommends employers establish safe work practices, set the brakes and stabilize the lift before use, maintain a 10-foot clearance from electrical power sources, and train workers on using the equipment.

FMCSA seeks public comment on strategic plan draft

07-15-2011

Washington The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is accepting comment until July 29 on a draft strategic plan (.pdf file) intended to serve as a guide to reducing crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large commercial trucks and interstate buses.

According to a June 27 press release, the five-year strategic plan aims to:

Raise the bar to enter the motor carrier industry
Maintain high safety standards to remain in the industry
Remove high-risk carriers, drivers and service providers from operation

OSHA launches online recordkeeping 'advisor'

05-27-2011

Washington To assist employers with federal reporting requirements for occupational injuries and illnesses, OSHA has launched an online tool.

The OSHA Recordkeeping Advisor asks users a series of questions to help determine whether an injury is work-related, whether it needs to be recorded and what regulatory provisions apply in recording the case, among other forms of assistance.

The agency stressed that although the advisor is intended to assist employers, it is not a substitute for OSHA regulations.

OSHA to survey employers

05-27-2011

Washington Select private-sector employers will be asked to complete a survey to help OSHA design future rules, compliance assistance and outreach efforts, the agency announced May 23.

Up to 19,000 employers of various sizes and industries will receive the voluntary Baseline Survey of Safety and Health Practices. Questions will inquire about whether respondents have a safety management system, whether they perform annual inspections, who manages safety and what kinds of hazards are present at their facilities, according to an OSHA press release.

Data is expected to be collected by August. OSHA hired Lexington, MA-based Eastern Research Group to provide the results which will be kept anonymous and cannot be used for enforcement, the agency said.

OSHA published a notice of its intent to conduct the survey in August 2010 and received clearance this March.

Dietetic association offers summer food safety tips

05-27-2011

Chicago As more Americans barbecue and picnic during the summer months, the risk of food poisoning increases, the American Dietetic Association cautions.

"Expert grillers will want to practice proper food safety habits anywhere food is prepared, not just in your kitchen," said Jim White, registered dietitian and ADA spokesperson. "Whether it's a picnic, barbecue or potluck, it's important to apply the same home food safety techniques to help keep you and your guests safe from foodborne illness."

To keep food safe while cooking this summer, ADA recommends:

Cooks should wash their hands often in warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds. A bottle of hand sanitizer can be used when soap and water are not readily available.

Scrub the grill, outdoor utensils, coolers and other containers with hot soapy water before use.

Use paper towels to clean up spills reusing dishtowels can spread harmful bacteria.

Keep raw meat and ready-to-eat foods separate. Do not baste cooked meat with the same brush used to baste raw meat, and always boil marinade before using it to season cooked meat.

Use a thermometer to ensure food is cooked to its proper temperature. Steaks should be cooked to at least 145F, hamburgers to 160F and chicken to 165F.

Refrigerate any leftovers promptly at 40F. Do not allow food to sit out longer than one hour on extremely hot days.

OSHA provides fall protection tips for residential construction workers

04-15-2011

Washington OSHA has issued a guidance document (.pdf file) on fall protection in residential construction.

Released April 8, the document provides safety methods for employers to prevent fall-related injuries and deaths, including fall arrest systems, safety net systems, guardrails, ladders and scaffolds.

"Fatalities from falls are the No. 1 cause of workplace deaths in construction," OSHA administrator David Michaels said in a press release. "We cannot tolerate workers getting killed in residential construction when effective means are readily available to prevent those deaths."

Until recently, residential construction employers had been allowed to use specific alternatives to conventional fall protection measures without a written, site-specific plan, or without showing the conventional methods created a greater hazard or were not feasible.

Citing the large number of fall-related injuries and deaths, OSHA in December issued a compliance directive stating residential construction employers must provide workers with fall protection in line with the agency's fall protection standard (1926.501). The directive, which has received sharp criticism from some stakeholders in the industry, is scheduled to go into effect June 16.

Orthopedic associations join fight against distracted driving

04-15-2011

Washington One out of every 5 drivers acknowledges that distracted driving is risky but still believes it is possible to multitask while driving, according to findings from a survey released April 6 by two medical associations.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Orthopaedic Trauma Association, both based in Rosemont, IL, released the results during the launch of Decide to Drive, a public service advertising campaign intended to stop distracted driving. The campaign includes an interactive website, resources for school curriculum, a poster contest and materials for surgeons to talk to patients about distracted driving.

Harris Interactive polled 1,500 adult drivers for the survey. Eighty-three percent of respondents said they are safe drivers, but estimated only 10 percent of other motorists are safe drivers. Additional survey results show:

Drivers between 30 and 44 years old were most likely to admit to eating or drinking, talking on a cell phone, or reaching in the back seat of the car while driving.
Many drivers who have experienced a near accident due to their own distracted driving behavior said they will continue the behavior that caused them to swerve or slam on the brakes to avoid an accident.

Obama administration seeks OSHA spending boost

02-18-2011

Washington President Barack Obama's proposed fiscal year 2012 budget (.pdf file), released Feb. 14, would provide OSHA with a nearly $25 million increase.

Under the proposal, OSHA would receive a $583.4 million budget next year. The FY 2011 budget has not yet been approved by Congress, and federal agencies have been operating under FY 2010 budget levels since October. OSHA's FY 2010 budget was $558.6 million.

Included in the new OSHA budget is nearly $26 million for the development of safety and health standards a $6.4 million increase from FY 2010. During a Feb. 14 webchat, OSHA administrator David Michaels said the agency hoped to issue proposed rules on combustible dust, infectious disease and, his top priority, an injury and illness prevention program rule in 2012.

Federal enforcement would receive a $7.8 million increase, some of which would go toward the hiring of an additional 25 compliance officers, Michaels said.

In addition, funding for the Voluntary Protection Programs was restored. OSHA created a controversy last year by proposing to cut funding for the popular program. Michaels said OSHA's original proposal to find alternative sources of funding for VPP was dropped and federal funding for VPP would continue.

OSHA directive clarifies employer responsibility for PPE

02-18-2011

Washington OSHA recently issued a directive for enforcement personnel on determining compliance with OSHA personal protective equipment standards.

Enforcement Guidance for Personal Protective Equipment in General Industry (.pdf file) went into effect Feb. 10 and replaces inspection guidelines issued in June 1995.

The new directive explains when employers do and do not have to pay for PPE, and updates enforcement policies based on court and review commission decisions. It also includes guidance allowing employers to use PPE made in accordance with current consensus standards.

A final rule issued in November 2007 requires employers in general industry, longshoring, marine terminals and construction to provide most types of required PPE at no cost to workers. OSHA also issued a final rule in September 2009 making PPE standards more consistent with consensus standards.

Timeline chronicles 40 years of OSHA

02-18-2011

Washington In celebration of its 40-year anniversary, OSHA on Feb. 15 posted a timeline of the agency's history.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act went into effect April 28, 1971. Since then, workplace fatalities have decreased approximately 65 percent even though employment has almost doubled, according to OSHA. The rate of reported serious workplace injuries and illnesses also has fallen from 11 per 100 workers in 1972 to 3.6 per 100 workers in 2009.

Milestones include establishing the OSHA Training Institute in 1972 and Voluntary Protection Programs in 1982, and promulgating standards for asbestos, machine guarding, lead, bloodborne pathogens and hexavalent chromium, among others.

"Today workplaces in America are far safer than 40 years ago," OSHA administrator David Michaels said in a statement. "Our progress gives us hope and confidence that OSHA will continue to make a lasting difference in the lives of our nation's 130 million workers and their families."

New Congress, new workplace safety legislation

01-14-2011

Washington A bill to update the Occupational Safety and Health Act was introduced by longtime worker safety advocate Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) on Jan. 5, the first day of the 112th Congress.

The Protecting America's Workers Act (H.R. 190) would amend the OSH Act to expand its coverage, increase protections for whistleblowers, and provide rights for victims and family members. Additionally, penalties would increase for some violations and adjust for inflation.

Woolsey introduced the bill in the previous Congress (H.R. 2067). The occupational safety and health components of that bill were later folded into a mine safety improvement bill the Robert C. Byrd Miner Safety and Health Act (H.R. 5663) which passed out of committee but was never called for a vote before the full House. A version of that mine bill (H.R. 6495) stripped of the OSH components failed to garner enough votes to pass the full House this past December.

Recordkeeping

A bill (H.R. 128) introduced Jan. 5 by Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) would require the secretary of labor to revise the regulations regarding the reporting of occupational injuries and illnesses under the OSH Act.

OSHA is exploring the possibility of issuing a regulation that would modernize its reporting system for injuries. The proposed rule would modify the agency's annual injury and illness survey standard (1904.41) by expanding OSHA's authority to collect and release injury and illness data. As such, the agency believes injury and illness data collection would be more efficient and timely. Currently, both annual fatal and nonfatal injury and illness data is released nearly two years after the fact.

At deadline, additional details on the bills were not available, as the full text of the legislation had not been released.

Safety for hearing-impaired workers

01-14-2011

According to OSHA, approximately 28 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss. Hearing-impaired workers face a number of additional challenges in the workplace, particularly when working safely around machinery or responding during an emergency situation.

The risk of miscommunication and resulting injuries can be significantly reduced by taking some steps recommended by OSHA:

Ensure emergency alert systems are effective for hearing-impaired workers. These can include strobe lights or vibrating alarms.

Provide flashlights so hearing-impaired workers can signal their location to a rescue team in the event they become separated during an evacuation.

Establish a buddy system in which co-workers alert hearing-impaired employees to an emergency situation. This should not be used as a primary alert system because of relatively low reliability.

Equip hearing-impaired worker telephones with an amplified ring.

Use clearly visible tape, paint or ropes to highlight the path of forklifts, vehicles and heavy equipment.

Require all vehicles to stop at intersections.

Install sensor warning lights and directional signals to warn of approaching vehicles.

Have dome mirrors installed at all intersections.

Install a transmitter for vehicle operators to signal their presence to a hearing-impaired worker via a vibrating pager.

Use a rear-vision camera that allows the operator to see behind the vehicle.

OSHA further recommends employers work with the hearing-impaired employee and possibly an occupational audiologist to determine which actions would be most effective.

Giving the Gift of Safety!

11-22-2010

The Oklahoma Safety Council (OSC) would like to encourage you to Give the Gift of Safety this holiday season by sponsoring a young adult(s) within the 15-24 year old age group to attend an Alive at 25 course.

Did you know traffic crashes are the #1 cause of death for people between the ages of 16 and 24, accounting for 44% of teen deaths in the United States? More than 3,800 young drivers are killed every year in traffic crashes. Approximately 30% of crashes killing young drivers involve alcohol.

Alive at 25 is a survival course developed by the National Safety Council. Its main objective is to prevent the number of automobile accidents that claim the lives of our teens. Alive at 25 is taught exclusively by trained police officers or drivers education instructors. The course is taught in one 4 hour session which focuses on the behaviors young drivers and passengers display behind the wheel. Students learn about the devastating consequences of practicing risky driving behaviors. Watching interactive videos, sharing driving experiences, and role-playing various driving situations are just some of the ways these valuable lessons are taught.

The OSC offers the Alive at 25 classes on the 1st Saturday of each month in Oklahoma City from 9am-1pm, at the cost of $40. For more information about the Alive at 25 program click here or call us at 405-848-8626. If you would like to purchase a gift certificate for our Giving the Gift of Safety campaign, contact Kellie Warrior at 405-848-8626 or at kelliw@oksafety.org

Faces of Distracted Driving

11-22-2010

Faces of Distracted Driving, is an online web series exploring the tragic consequences of texting and cell phone use while driving. You can watch the videos at www.distraction.gov/faces.

Distracted driving is one of the most serious safety issues on our nations roadways. In 2009 alone, nearly 5,500 people were killed and 500,000 more were injured in distracted driving-related crashes. Behind these numbers are children, parents, neighbors, and friends and their families torn apart by senseless, preventable crashes.

The three-minute Faces videos feature people from across the country whose lives have been forever changed because of texting or cell phone use behind the wheel. They speak in deeply emotional terms about the loved ones torn from them and the pain of moving forward.

If you have any doubts about the seriousness of this epidemic, these videos will change your mind. We hope you will watch these videos and consider including this series in your local safety and educational outreach efforts at your company.

NHTSA releases reports on lives saved, distracted driving

10-05-2010

In 2009, 30,808 motor vehicle crash fatalities 11 percent involving a distracted driver occurred, while 12,713 lives were saved by laws and safety devices, according to two reports released Tuesday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Findings from NHTSA's traffic safety report (.pdf file) on lives saved in 2009 show:

Restraint use and minimum-drinking-age laws contributed to the lives saved.

Frontal air bags saved 2,831 lives.

Motorcycle helmets saved 1,483 lives, and an additional 732 lives would have been saved if every motorcyclist had been helmeted.

Age-21 drinking laws saved 623 lives.

Child restraints saved 309 lives, and an additional 3,688 lives would have been saved if all passenger vehicle occupants 5 and older had worn safety belts.

Findings from a report (.pdf file) on distracted driving in 2009 show:

5,474 people were killed and an estimated 448,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes reportedly involving distracted driving. Of those people killed, 995 (18 percent of fatalities) involved reports of a cell phone as the distraction. Of those people injured, 24,000 involved reports of cell phones as a distraction.

OSHA releases State Plan reviews

10-05-2010

OSHA this week released a long-awaited series of reports evaluating 25 state- or territory-run occupational safety and health programs.

The Enhanced Federal Annual Monitoring and Evaluation reports highlight several problems found in the State Plan states, including lack of funding, inappropriate classification of violations and poor follow-up inspections. The reports also outline areas in which states issued standards or procedures that surpass federal OSHA efforts.

The evaluations were prompted by a special report issued last year that highlighted operational deficiencies in Nevada's OSH program. The Nevada report was submitted following a series of high-profile, mostly construction-related incidents and worker deaths. EFAME reports were not written for Illinois (which was approved for State Plan status a year ago) and Nevada.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act gives states the option of implementing their own OSH program. According to the law, State Plans must be "at least as effective" as federal OSHA. Up to half the funding for state programs may be provided by the federal government.

DOT interim final rule on drug testing procedures in effect Oct. 1

10-05-2010

An interim final rule (.pdf file), published Sept. 27 in the Federal Register, that authorizes use of a new drug testing form for commercial motor vehicle drivers goes into effect today.

Department of Transportation drug testing programs must use the new Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form recently issued by the Department of Health and Human Services. The interim final rule also includes a technical amendment on guidelines for laboratories to report to medical review officers the concentration of drug or drug metabolite when a test result is positive. The deadline to comment on the interim final rule is Oct. 27.

A final rule (.pdf file) on changes to DOT drug and alcohol testing policy, published in the Aug. 16 Federal Register, also goes into effect today. DOT officials published the interim final rule to clarify a technical amendment left out of the final rule. Changes to certain provisions of its drug testing procedures are intended to create consistency with many, but not all, of the new requirements established by HHS.

OSHA publishes proposed rule change to SHARP

09-10-2010

OSHA has proposed a rule that would revise the circumstances in which the agency may conduct inspections of sites participating in its On-Site Consultation Program.

The proposed rule, published in the Sept. 3 Federal Register, affects employers in OSHA's Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program, which recognizes small businesses with "exemplary safety and health management systems."

The proposed rule:

- Clarifies OSHA's ability to define sites to receive inspections regardless of SHARP exemption status
- Allows compliance officers to conduct enforcement visits from referrals at sites undergoing consultation visits or that have SHARP status
- Limits how long SHARP participants are exempt from OSHA's programmed inspection schedule

Comments on the proposed rule are due Nov. 2.

NIOSH updates list of hazardous drugs

09-10-2010

NIOSH recently issued an alert (.pdf file) updating its list of hazardous drugs present in health care settings.

Hazardous drugs include those used for cancer chemotherapy, antiviral drugs, hormones and some bioengineered drugs, according to the alert. The 21 drugs added to the list are new or existing drugs that had new warnings between 2004 and 2007. NIOSH recommends following a standard-precautions approach when handling hazardous drugs.

DOT assessment shows lowest traffic fatalities in six decades

09-10-2010

Traffic fatalities are at their lowest overall level since 1950, according to a report (.pdf file) released Thursday from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The report, which is based on 2009 Fatality Analysis Reporting System data, shows the overall number of traffic fatalities fell 9.7 percent in 2009 to a record low of 33,808. In 1950, 33,186 motor vehicle traffic crash deaths were recorded.

Additional data shows:

- The number of people injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2009 declined for the 10th straight year, down 5.5 percent from 2008.
- Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in crashes declined by 7.4 percent in 2009.
- The fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled fell to a record low of 1.13 in 2009.

The Governors Highway Safety Association issued a press release applauding the progress and attributed it to increased safety belt use, stronger enforcement of drunk driving laws, better roads, safer vehicles, and an increasingly well-coordinated approach to safety among state stakeholders and the federal government. Washington-based GHSA also credited the success to Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood's focus on preventing distracted driving.

Cardiac Science to replace recalled AEDs

07-23-2010

Cardiac Science Corp. recently announced it will replace approximately 24,000 automated external defibrillators used by first responders and certain medical facilities as part of a recall dating back to November 2009.

AEDs are likely to be used more frequently by first responders and medical facilities, which may increase the probability of malfunction during a rescue attempt, according to a press release from the Bothell, WA-based company. First priority will be given to police, fire and ambulance workers.

Cardiac Science said other customers affected by the recall only require the previously announced software update, which improves the AED's self-test capabilities and detection of the component issue linked to possible machine failure.

Subcommittee addresses concerns about pipeline safety awareness programs

07-23-2010

Members of Congress met July 21 to discuss recent concerns about the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's oversight of owner/operator public awareness and education programs for pipeline safety.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee hearing (.pdf file) was the fourth in a series of hearings scheduled in light of the Deepwater Horizon crisis in the Gulf of Mexico. It stemmed from concerns raised by the National Transportation Safety Board that even though a pipeline operator's public awareness program plan may comply with federal regulations, there is no guarantee that implementation is effective or that the operator is exercising sufficient oversight, Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-MN), chairman of the committee, said during his opening statement.

PHMSA Administrator Cynthia L. Quarterman told the panel that excavation damage, although preventable, remains the leading cause of pipeline incidents involving fatalities and injuries, according to her written statement (.pdf file). She said PHMSA has made grant funding available and a number of programs are underway to increase public awareness of pipeline hazards, such as the "811 Call Before You Dig" program.

Congress examines effects of CSA 2010

07-02-2010

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's new commercial motor vehicle safety enforcement program, Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010, was both praised and criticized by safety advocates and trucking groups during a June 23 hearing before the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's Highways and Transit Subcommittee.

Concerns about CSA 2010 included the processes used to rate motor carriers and drivers, how different types of carriers would compare to one other, how violations would be weighted and tracked, and how the system would differentiate between citations and warnings.

FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro said a new Safety Measurement System would be used to rate and rank carriers within CSA 2010 to determine which carriers warrant an intervention and possible enforcement action by her agency. She emphasized the system would draw on all available data, including violations and positive data, such as a carrier that passes an inspection at a weight station.

CSB welcomes two new members

07-02-2010

After being confirmed by the Senate on June 23, Dr. Rafael Moure-Eraso took over as chairman of the Chemical Safety Board, and Mark Griffon also was appointed to the board, filling the second vacancy.

An industrial hygienist with 30 years of experience in safety, Moure-Eraso most recently served as chair and head of the department of work environment at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, according to a CSB press release.

Griffon is an environmental and occupational consultant and member of the Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health.

Outgoing chairman John Bresland will serve as a board member for the remainder of his five-year term, which runs through March 2013.

President Barack Obama nominated Moure-Eraso and Griffon on March 22.

OSHA adds component to 10-hour, 30-hour classes

06-21-2010

A new training component emphasizing worker rights has been added to OSHA's 10- and 30-hour Outreach Training Program classes as required content.

According to an OSHA press release, "Introduction to OSHA" advises workers on their rights to:

A safe workplace
Training
Make a request for an OSHA inspection
Be free from retaliation
The two-hour component is required for the 10- and 30-hour construction, general industry, and maritime outreach courses.

"We are confident that this new training will embolden workers to speak up when they find work practices that endanger their lives and the lives of their co-workers," OSHA administrator David Michaels said in a press release.

Motor carrier advisory committee reviews distracted driving issues

06-21-2010

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has tasked the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee with investigating ways to prevent distracted driving among commercial motor vehicle operators.

FMCSA officials are hoping for information, concepts and ideas to prevent distracted driving, particularly from in-cab technologies and activities. The task is said to be separate from a current rule that prohibits texting and a forthcoming rule concerning cell phone use.

A study (.pdf file) released in September 2009 by the Blacksburg, VA-based Virginia Tech Transportation Institute showed driver distraction was a potential contributing factor in about 82 percent of crashes.

Findings from the study, which collected naturalistic driver data from 103 CMV drivers between May 2004 and September 2005, also showed:

Drivers were engaged in non-driving-related tasks in 71 percent of crashes, 46 percent of near crashes and 60 percent of all safety-critical events.

There were 4,452 safety critical events, 21 crashes, 197 near crashes, 3,019 crash-relevant conflicts and 1,215 unintentional lane deviations.

Drivers were 23.2 times as likely to be involved in a safety-critical event if they were texting while driving.

OSHA to host live web meeting on combustible dust

06-21-2010

OSHA will host a stakeholder meeting via live webchat on June 28.

To participate in the one-hour "virtual" meeting on combustible dust, stakeholders should register at dol.gov.

OSHA has hosted a series of stakeholder meetings throughout the country as it pursues a standard on combustible dust. The upcoming webchat is the latest example of OSHA using Internet-based technology to reach a broader audience.

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

05-06-2010

Motorcyclists are much more vulnerable to crashes than other drivers. Many crashes occur because motorcycles are hidden in a vehicles blind spot. It is important that motorists always make a visual check for motorcyclists by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic.

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Throughout May, the National Safety Council will encourage motorists to share the road with motorcyclists and be extra alert when they are nearby.

Fatalities involving motorists and motorcyclists increased 131 percent between 1998 and 2008. The mileage death rate for motorcyclists in 2007 was 37 times greater than for passenger car occupants.

Throughout spring and summer the number of motorcyclists on the road will increase. It is important for both motorists and motorcyclists to be aware of one another, said David Teater, NSC senior director of Transportation Initiatives. To better defend themselves, motorcyclists should follow the rules of the roadway and wear protective gear, including a Department of Transportation compliant helmet.

NSC offers these tips for motorists and motorcyclists:

Motorists

Allow greater following distance behind a motorcycle.
Be extra cautious in intersections. Most crashes occur when a motorist fails to see a motorcyclist and turns left in front of a motorcycle.
Give a motorcycle the full lane width never try to share a lane.
Motorcyclists
Avoid riding in poor weather conditions.
Position motorcycle in lane where you will be out of a motorists blind spot.
Use turn signals for every turn or lane change.

Distracted Driving

05-06-2010

Numerous public opinion surveys show most drivers believe that using cell phones while driving is dangerous. Indeed, talking on cell phones while driving is estimated to increase crash risk fourfold.

Over 50 research studies have shown that using phones while driving is risky. Each year, it results in about 1.6 million crashes, hundreds of thousands of injuries, and thousands of deaths.

The National Safety Council (NSC) aims to prevent these crashes, injuries and deaths due to cell phone use while driving. For the many ways to help make our roads safer, visit our resources dedicated to:

Employers
Key Research
Public Education
State Laws

For more information on distracted driving visit the NSC at www.nsc.org

Distracted Driving (Transportation secretary announces first enforcement crackdown campaign on distracted driving)

04-12-2010

As part of its continuing effort to combat distracted driving, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is kicking off pilot programs in Hartford, Connecticut and Syracuse, New York to test whether increased law enforcement efforts can get distracted drivers to put down their cell phones and focus on the road.

The pilot programs, which are similar to previous efforts to curb drunk driving and increase seat belt use among drivers, are the first federally funded efforts in the country to specifically focus on the effects of increased enforcement and public advertising on reducing distracted driving. Drivers caught texting or talking on a hand-held cell phone will be pulled over and ticketed. The message is simple, Phone in One Hand. Ticket in the Other. Law enforcement will be out on the roads in Syracuse, NY, and Hartford, CT, with one simple message, if a driver is caught with a cell phone in one hand, theyll end up with a ticket in the other, said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Its time for drivers to act responsibly, put their hands on the wheel and focus on the road. High visibility enforcement will begin in the Syracuse metropolitan area from April 8 through 17, while the crackdown in the Hartford metropolitan area will begin on April 10 through 16. Subsequent enforcement waves in both states will take place throughout the course of the yearlong program.

The program will be also be supported by a paid advertising campaign that focuses on men and women up to the age of 49 and will air April 1 through April16 in the Hartford and Syracuse metropolitan areas. Each pilot program is supported by $200,000 in federal funds and matched by $100,000 from the state. Researchers will study changes in attitudes and behavior from beginning to end and the results will serve as a model for employing high visibility enforcement, education and outreach to reduce distracted driving behaviors in other cities and states across the country.

There is no question that high visibility enforcement combined with effective public advertising works. Weve seen the results first-hand with national campaigns like Click It or Ticket and Drunk Driving. Over The Limit. Under Arrest, said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. Distracted driving is a growing problemthe numbers tell the story of these preventable tragedies. Research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that in 2008 alone, nearly 6,000 people were killed and more than a half million people were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver nationwide. Almost 20 percent of all crashes that same year involved some type of distraction. Nationwide, six states prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving and twenty-one states have enacted texting bans.
To learn more visit www.distraction.gov

2010 National Safety Month Dates/Themes

04-12-2010

Preparation for the 2010 National Safety Month campaign is well underway. This year's five weekly focal points, chosen to highlight key areas of NSC injury-prevention efforts, have been listed below.

Week 1: 6/1-6/6 Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention
Week 2: 6/7-6/13 Teen Driving Safety
Week 3: 6/14-6/20 Preventing Overexertion at Work & at Home
Week 4: 6/21-6/27 Dangers of Cell Phone Use While Driving
Week 5: 6/28-6/30 Summer Safety

Each June both the National Safety Council and the Oklahoma Safety Council encourage businesses to get involved and participate in National Safety Month. Each week carries a theme that brings attention to critical safety issues. More information about National Safety Month will be posted at www.nsc.org this month so your organization can plan ahead.

OSC Announces New CSHO Program

03-19-2010

The Oklahoma Safety Council (OSC) has announced our new Certified Safety & Health Official (CSHO) program. Participants be able to take your entire CSHO program locally in Oklahoma City. The OSC will accept current CSHO credits you've completed at any other OTI in the region and credits will be applied towards the OSC CSHO program. Courses are now scheduled on the OSC website. For more information about the CSHO program, contact Rocky Waller at 405-848-8626 or by email at rwaller@oksafety.org

OSC Offers OTI Courses for Members

03-15-2010

As an added value to our members, the Oklahoma Safety Council (OSC) has negotiated a great deal on your behalf. OSHA Training Institute (OTI) courses are now available to our members at a reduced rate compared to any other OTI courses in the state. Take advantage of the convenience of not having to travel out of state as courses are now available in Oklahoma City & Tulsa. Visit our website at www.oksafety.org for a listing of upcoming courses or contact Rocky Waller at 405-848-8626.

OSC Seeks Nominations for Annual Awards

02-08-2010

Does your company have a great safety and health program that you would be proud to showcase? There is no better venue to acknowledge these groups or individuals than the Oklahoma Safety Councils 2010 Safety and Health Conference. We are currently accepting nominations for Safety & Health Awards. Please call the OSC at 405-848-8626 or contact Kellie Warrior by email at kelliw@oksafety.org for details. Award nomination forms can be downloaded from the OSC website at www.oksafety.org. All applications must be submitted by the deadline of April 2, 2010.

Company Award
The Oklahoma Safety Council is looking for the best
safety and health programs in Oklahoma! If you have a
great safety and/or health program or know of one, please
complete or have them complete an application for the 2010
safety and health awards. The OSC will recognize 3 winners
for the company award for small, medium and large
employers. (Yes, you can nominate your own program!)

Most Improved Award
The Oklahoma Safety Council is looking for the most
improved safety and health programs in Oklahoma! If your
company has shown great improvement within the last two
years in your safety and/or health program or if you know of
a company that has, please complete or have them complete
an application for the 2010 safety and health awards.
(Yes, you can nominate your own program!) Even if your
companys data doesnt reflect a great program compared
to your industry peers, you may have shown great improvement
over the last two years.

Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Award
The Oklahoma Safety Council is looking for the best
safety and health programs from Voluntary Protection Program
(VPP) sites in Oklahoma! If you have achieved this
endeavor or know of someone who has, please complete
an application for the 2010 safety awards. (Yes, you can nominate yourself!).

National Safety Council Estimates that At Least 1.6 Million Crashes are Caused Each Year by Drivers Using Cell Phones and Texting

01-12-2010

Washington, DC The National Safety Council announced today that it estimates at least 28% of all traffic crashes or at least 1.6 million crashes each year are caused by drivers using cell phones and texting. NSC estimates that 1.4 million crashes each year are caused by drivers using cell phones and a minimum of 200,000 additional crashes each year are caused by drivers who are texting. The announcement came on the one-year anniversary of NSCs call for a ban on all cell phone use and texting while driving.

We now know that at least 1.6 million crashes are caused by drivers using cell phones and texting," said Janet Froetscher, president & CEO of the National Safety Council. "We know that cell phone use is a very risky distraction and texting is even higher risk. We now know that cell phone use causes many more crashes than texting. The main reason is that millions more drivers use cell phones than text," she said. "That is why we need to address both texting and cell phone use on our roads."

"This new estimate provides critical data for legislators, business leaders and individuals to evaluate the threat and need for legislation, business policies and personal actions to prevent cell phone use and texting while driving," Froetscher said. "There was great progress made in 2009, particularly regarding a broad recognition that texting is dangerous. We now need the same broad consensus that recognizes cell phone use while driving causes even more crashes.

Froetscher said public support for laws banning cell phone use while driving is gaining momentum.

"Public opinion research conducted in 2009 by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and Nationwide Insurance show public support for total bans on cell phones at 43 and 57 percent respectively," Froetscher said. "With public support now around 50 percent, we will continue to educate people about the risks of cell phone use while driving and the value of effectively-enforced laws in changing behavior and reducing crashes.

In constructing its estimates, NSC used widely-accepted statistical methods and analysis based on data of driver cell phone use from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and from peer-reviewed research that quantifies the risk of using a cell phone and texting while driving. NSC's statistical model and estimates were peer-reviewed by academic researchers in traffic safety and biostatistics.

The estimate of 25% of all crashes -- or 1.4 million crashes -- caused by cell phone use was derived from NHTSA data showing 11% of drivers at any one time are using cell phones and from peer-reviewed research reporting cell phone use increases crash risk by four times. The estimate of an additional minimum 3% of crashes -- or 200,000 crashes -- caused by texting was derived by NHTSA data showing 1% of drivers at any one time are manipulating their device in ways that include texting and from research reporting texting increases crash risk by 8 times. Using the highest risk for texting reported by research of 23 times results in a maximum of 1 million crashes due to texting; still less than the 1.4 million crashes caused by other cell phone use.

For more information visit the NSC at www.nsc.org


The National Safety Council (www.nsc.org) saves lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the roads, through leadership, research, education and advocacy.

Poison Prevention

12-18-2009

Poisonings are easier to prevent than to treat. Every day, the Oklahoma Poison Control Center receives calls from distraught parents, grandparents, caregivers and babysitters who didn't think a poisoning could happen to their loved one. Unfortunately, children are at a greater risk for a poisoning exposure because of their natural curiosity to explore the world. Toddlers tend to touch everything and once they pick something up - it goes straight to their mouth. It can take less than a second for a child to drink or eat a poison that could be life threatening. Children's bodies are physically less able to tolerate toxic chemicals.

It only takes a minute to educate yourself about how to prevent a poison in your home. For more information visit the Oklahoma Poison Control website at www.oklahomapoison.org

OSHA provides workplace H1N1 influenza precaution and protection information for workers and employers

12-18-2009

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued commonsense fact sheets that employers and workers can use to promote safety during the current H1N1 influenza outbreak.

The fact sheets inform employers and workers about ways to reduce the risk of exposure to the 2009 H1N1 virus at work. Separate fact sheets for health care workers, who carry out tasks and activities that require close contact with 2009 H1N1 patients, contain additional precautions.

"Protecting our nation's workers is OSHA's top priority," said Jordan Barab, the agency's acting assistant secretary. "These fact sheets are tools we have developed to help ensure America's workers stay healthy and our businesses remain viable. OSHA's new fact sheets will help all employers identify appropriate actions to protect their workers."

OSHA's "Workplace Safety and H1N1" Web site provides easy to understand information appropriate for all workplaces and more extensive guidance for those involved in higher risk health care activities. The fact sheets are advisory in nature and informational in content.

As new information about the 2009 H1N1 virus becomes available, these workplace fact sheets will be updated. Employers and workers should review OSHA's www.osha.gov/h1n1 site often to ensure they have the most up-to-date information when making decisions about their operations and planning.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, OSHA's role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach and education. For more information about the agency, visit www.osha.gov.

OSHA Compliance Assistance Quick Start Tool

12-18-2009

OSHA Compliance Assistance Quick Start is a tool to introduce employers and employees, especially those at new or small businesses, to the compliance assistance resources on OSHAs website. Quick Start currently includes modules for:

- General Industry
- Construction
- Health Care
- Hispanic Outreach

By following the step-by-step guides, you can generate an initial set of compliance assistance materials tailored to your workplace. For more information visit the OSHA webiste below.

http://osha.gov/dcsp/compliance_assistance/quickstarts/index.html

The National Safety Council Encourages Businesses to Reduce the Impact of H1N1

12-10-2009

The H1N1 influenza virus not only has an impact on families at home, but also on businesses across the nation. U.S. health officials estimate H1N1 has infected an estimated 22 million Americans and caused at least 3,900 deaths in 2009. While the number of H1N1 cases is declining, it is expected to peak again. Employers should prepare now for another wave to ensure business operations run as usual.

To address H1N1, NSC encourages businesses of all sizes to promote healthy behavior by offering hand sanitizer and tissues to employees and customers. Encouraging fewer in-person meetings, offering tips on flu prevention and modifying sick leave policies to encourage employees with flu symptoms to stay home also are steps businesses can take to protect employees. While these efforts can reduce the spread of H1N1 in the workplace, additional steps can ensure businesses remain productive during a pandemic:

Ask employees to document daily procedures.
Train employees to cover for co-workers.
Have an alternative plan to distribute products and services.
Ask suppliers what steps they have taken to ensure they can continue delivering during a pandemic.

Many companies recognize the importance of protecting the health of their workers by preventing the spread of H1N1, said Jim Johnson, NSC Senior Director, Workplace Initiatives. In addition to maintaining a safe and healthy workforce, these businesses understand it also contributes to the health of their business by avoiding levels of absence that adversely impact operations.

For more H1N1 flu resources for employers, visit NSCs Website.

The National Safety Council (www.nsc.org) saves lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the roads, through leadership, research, education and advocacy.

Safety Behind The Wheel

11-05-2009

Every year more than 40,000 people are killed and more than 3 million people are injured in motor vehicle crashes. Crashes are the leading cause of injury and death for all people between the ages of 3 and 33.

There are simple steps that can be taken to reduce your likelihood of getting into a motor vehicle crash.

Drive defensively
Never talk or text on a cell phone while driving
Follow posted speed limits

Contact the Oklahoma Safety Council at 405-848-8626 for a listing of driver improvement courses for adults and teens.

Oklahoma Safety Council is proud to partner with OKC University to bring the Disney Keys to Excellence program

09-28-2009

It doesn't take any training to recognize that the world's economy has taken a significant downturn. It does take effective and proven professional development training to guide impacted organizations back to the summit.

Oklahoma Safety Council is proud to partner with Oklahoma City University to bring the Disney Keys to Excellence program, presented by the world renowned Disney Institute, to the Oklahoma City area on October 20, 2009.

A one-day local workshop, the Disney Keys to Excellence program is a rare and affordable opportunity to learn best business practices from Disney insiders, and discover ways to easily and immediately adapt and apply those best practices to pick up the pace in these slow economic times.

Organizations from across the nation and around the world have learned proven philosophies, adapted critical lessons, and implemented effective processes to reap the rewards of improvements in leadership, management, service, and brand loyalty.

We invite your team to join thousands of professionals and discover the Disney business secrets to . . .

Strengthening loyalty and retaining valuable customers
Expanding their brand and generating greater profits
Building team involvement and ownership
Creating a service culture and motivating employees
Maintaining a competitive edge in a sluggish economy

TO LEARN MORE AND REGISTER GO TO: www.KeysOklahomaCity.com

Prevent the Flu in Your Workplace

08-26-2009

Seasonal flu in the workplace can halt operations in any size company. Worker absences, decreases in productivity and increased healthcare expenditures all impact the bottom line. This year, the pandemic H1N1 flu strain may circulate with traditional seasonal flu virusespotentially doubling the impact of the flu season on employers.

The best way to prevent the flu in your workplace is to provide employees with the annual seasonal influenza vaccination. Employees, especially those with underlying health conditions, also should plan to receive the pandemic H1N1 vaccination (to be distributed later this fall).

The vaccine can prevent the flu or reduce severity and duration in a person with flu symptoms. Additionally, the flu vaccine reduces the risk of employees developing serious complications. All employees should be educated about the importance of receiving a seasonal flu vaccine, especially older workers and those with pre-existing, chronic conditions.

If your company has not previously held a seasonal flu vaccine clinic for employees, this is the year to do so. NSCs Prescription for the Flu guide outlines how to plan a worksite flu vaccine clinic. Employers should begin planning now during the summer months, as public health officials encourage people to be vaccinated as soon as the seasonal flu vaccine is available in their community.

When planning your clinic, also consider offering the pneumococcal vaccine to employees. Pneumonia is a frequent and serious complication of both seasonal flu and the H1N1 strain of the flu. The pneumococcal vaccine can be offered at the same time as the seasonal flu vaccine.

For more information, read NSCs tip sheets on how to protect families, employees and businesses from the flu.

Death by Cell Phone

07-17-2009

YouTube Site Surpasses 21,000 Hits!! Since its posting on YouTube just two months ago, the NSCs Death by Cell Phone video has surpassed 21,000 hits. Please post the NSC YouTube link on any Facebook or social networking page you have. Right now the video has extra support from our Death by Cell Phone billboard advertisements, visible in 67 markets thanks to Nationwide Insurance Co. and Lamar Advertising. This campaign supports the NSCs commitment to transportation safety.

For more information visit the National Safety Council website at http://www.nsc.org/news/death_by_cellphone.aspx

BLS releases detailed occupational fatality data

06-26-2009

The Bureau of Labor Statistics on June 12 released a compendium of detailed data that analyzes its Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries for the period 1992-2006.

The document shows a high of 6,632 worker deaths in 1994 and a low of 5,534 in 2002. In another analysis, the report charts the rising number of Hispanic worker deaths, from 533 in 1994 to 990 in 2006. Other categories analyzed include selected fatal transportation events, multiple-fatality incidents, employment and fatalities by worker gender, and fatal occupational injuries by major occupation group.

OSHA issues citations for combustible dust hazards

06-26-2009

As part of an ongoing national effort to identify workplace combustible dust hazards, OSHA said June 18 that its compliance officers identified 3,662 violations during 813 inspections in a wide range of industries during the past 16 months.

The enforcement visits are part of a National Emphasis Program intended to reduce worker exposure to combustible dust hazards. The program was created in response to a number of high-profile incidents.

OSHA said it made more than 100 visits to targeted facilities in Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi and issued 667 citations.

SAVE-THE-DATE! "Safety: Get in the Game", 2009 Safety & Health Conference

03-03-2009

ONLINE REGISTRATION NOW AVAILABLE

Each year the Oklahoma Safety Council hosts the largest Safety & Health Conference in the state. The 2009 Safety & Health Conference will be held at the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) in Edmond on June 3-5, 2009. On behalf of the Oklahoma Safety Council (OSC) we encourage you to join us at the 2009 Safety & Health Conference, Safety: Get in the Game. Our program provides you with a path to maintain focus on your interests as well as great networking opportunities with vendors and people in your own field. Our goal is to provide you with the knowledge you can take back to your work and enhance productivity. So come join us see and hear whats new network with the vendors and meet new contacts.

If you would like further information about this great event, download the 2009 Safety & Health Conference program for complete details. Dont forget, early bird registration deadline is March 31, 2009.

NFPA releases report on home fires

03-02-2009

On average, eight people die from home structure fires every day, according to a new report from the National Fire Protection Association, Quincy, MA. In addition, home structure fires are responsible for 13,600 injuries and $7.4 billion in property damage, the report found. Other findings:

Children younger than 5 and adults older than 65 are at the greatest risk of home fire-related death.
Almost two-thirds of fatal home fires occurred in homes with no working smoke alarm.
Approximately one-third of home fires and home fire deaths occurred in winter months.
Cooking equipment was the leading cause of home fires. Approximately 41 percent began in the kitchen or cooking area.
Smoking was the leading cause of home structure fire deaths, followed by heating equipment.

Solis approved as secretary of labor

03-02-2009

In an 80-17 vote, the Senate on Tuesday confirmed Hilda L. Solis as secretary of labor.

The nomination was stalled for several weeks after questions surfaced regarding Solis' husband's tax liens and her role as a board member and treasurer of a nonprofit, pro-labor union organization.

Labor unions hailed the confirmation shortly after the vote. Among them was the Washington-based Service Employees International Union, which said in a press release that Solis understands challenges confronting workers in the global economy.