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Feature Articles

Articles from current issue of the Cal/OSHA Compliance Advisor monthly newsletter are listed below.

Click on any headline below to find the full article. And be sure to click the "More Headlines" link at the bottom of the page to read articles you may have missed.

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Appeals Board decisions: Disrupted routines lead to amputation, fines for employer
September 2015
We all have routines, and ideally they make us more efficient and productive. For example, routinely completing and filing paperwork keeps it from piling up and going undone, and routinely inspecting the worksite can identify problems while they're still small and easily corrected. . . . more »
Process safety management: Federal OSHA issues enforcement guidance on good engineering practices
September 2015
The Chevron Richmond Refinery fire of 2012, and the recommendations of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board that arose from it, sent regulatory agencies into a tizzy. . . . more »
Trainer's handbook: National Farm Safety and Health Week makes a good time to talk tractor safety
September 2015
September 20 to 26 is National Farm Safety and Health Week, sponsored by the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS). According to the U.S. Department of Labor, farming accounted for 500 fatalities in 2013, or 23.2 deaths per 100,000 workers. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reports that tractors account for more than 20 percent of farm-related deaths, killing about 125 agricultural workers every year. . . . more »
Occupational illness: Korean MERS outbreak raises concerns for workers who travel abroad
September 2015
The first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) was reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Cases have since been reported in eight other countries in the region as well as the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian territory. Other nations in the region, including Israel, Iraq, and Syria, have not reported cases but are considered "at risk." . . . more »
Hazardous chemicals: How do you take your coffee? Cream? Sugar? Lung disease?
September 2015
It's not news that diacetyl, a chemical used to create butter flavor in prepared foods, can cause deadly lung disease--bronchiolitis obliterans (or "popcorn lung," because it was first identified in workers at a microwave popcorn factory). . . . more »
Featured resource: 10 warehouse safety measures you should implement
September 2015
In 2012, warehouse and storage workers in the United States experienced nearly 12,000 injuries requiring days away from work. More than one in three of the injuries were musculoskeletal disorders, with sprains, strains, and tears the most common by far. . . . more »
Appeals Board decisions: Worker's 'party' status dooms employer's settlement agreement; What went wrong?
August 2015
Sometimes, the outcome of a Cal/OSHA proceeding is determined by elements other than the facts in the case. The way each party in a case manages procedural factors and technicalities can affect the way things turn out. For example, an employer that files its appeal paperwork after the deadline has passed likely won't even get a hearing. . . . more »
Safety management: Most-cited standards and causes of death show where hazards are
August 2015
We all need to set priorities, and when it comes to worker safety and health and regulatory compliance, annual statistics released by Cal/OSHA, federal OSHA, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provide employers with valuable guidance on where they need to focus their attention. . . . more »
Hazard identification: Federal OSHA publishes guidance for nail salon workers
August 2015
In 1975, after the fall of Saigon in South Vietnam, the U.S. government evacuated more than 125,000 South Vietnamese citizens to refugee camps in the United States. At a camp near Sacramento, actress Tippi Hedren (most famous for her role in Alfred Hitchcock's film "The Birds") met 20 Vietnamese women whose plight moved her. . . . more »
Trainer's handbook: When it's hotter than hot, train workers in high-heat procedures
August 2015
On March 13, 2015, a Cal/OSHA advisory committee released a report on the agency's heat illness prevention special emphasis program. According to the report, heat-related illnesses and fatalities were down in 2014 (40 confirmed cases and one fatality) compared with 2013 (54 confirmed cases and four fatalities). . . . more »
Fleet safety: Seat belts and pedal confusion--2 fleet hazards with easy fixes
August 2015
According to early estimates released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in June 2015, 2014 saw 32,675 deaths in motor vehicle traffic crashes. The bit of good news is that the number of vehicle deaths is down very slightly compared with 2013, when 32,719 people died on American roads. . . . more »
Featured resource: ATV operator safety policy
August 2015
All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are increasingly common in various industries. ATVs have different handling characteristics than other vehicles, though, and can be extremely dangerous if mishandled. In June, for example, a Madera farm worker was killed when he took a corner too quickly, struck a pole, and broke his neck. . . . more »
Enforcement: No willful citations from Cal/OSHA, but D.A. charges felonies in workers' death
July 2015
It's unusual for an employer to be criminally charged when a worker is killed or injured on the job. . . . more »
Appeals Board decisions: Was the violation 'accident-related'? 2 recent cases hold clues
July 2015
One of the surest ways to bring Cal/OSHA to your door is for a worker to die or suffer a reportable injury. In the resulting inspections, Cal/OSHA's primary focus is on the circumstances surrounding the incident that led to the worker's death or injury. . . . more »
Hazard identification: Worker deaths rose in 2013; Cal/OSHA lists risks to focus on
July 2015
In 2013, 396 Californians died on the job--a slight uptick from the year before, when 375 workers died, according to the state Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). Among other notable findings, DIR's recently released figures show that California's fatality rates remain lower overall than in 2008, when the last recession hit, despite an increase in the overall employment rate. . . . more »
Indoor air quality: School study leads to recommendations for healthier cleaning
July 2015
Do you know what it feels like to not be able to breathe? If so, you may be one of the 6.8 million U.S. adults who suffer from asthma, a potentially deadly lung disease in which the airways narrow, making breathing difficult. . . . more »
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