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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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Occupational noise: Now hear this! New research connects increased noise levels with increased injury risk
March 2015
Employers have long known that high levels of workplace noise pose a risk of noise-induced hearing loss for workers. Recent research has also linked chronic exposure to occupational noise with sleep disorders and poor job performance as well as increased risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and benign tumors along the vestibular cochlear nerve. Now there's even more bad news for employers with noisy operations. . . . more »
Heat illness prevention: Acclimatize your outdoor workers as summer nears
March 2015
Unlike Cal/OSHA, federal OSHA doesn't have a heat illness prevention standard, but that doesn't mean the agency doesn't concern itself with heat-related illnesses. . . . more »
Trainer's handbook: Are your workers equipped for any emergency?
March 2015
Most workplaces have an array of emergency equipment available, much of it required by one safety and health standard or another. Fire extinguishers and automated external defibrillators (AEDs), first-aid kits, eyewashes, and safety showers--whatever the possible emergency, you should have the right equipment on hand to respond quickly. . . . more »
Return to work: Get workers back on the job with light-duty assignments
March 2015
Is your workforce ailing? Maybe one employee who's out hurt his back cleaning gutters at home, another went ahead and had that elective foot surgery she'd been putting off, and another is out on a workers' compensation claim after slipping in mud. . . . more »
Appeals Board decisions: Did missing piece of employer's LOTO program cause worker's missing finger?
March 2015
Your lockout/tagout program is intended to prevent injuries when a machine or piece of equipment moves unexpectedly. These injuries can occur when a worker places a part of his or her body into a machine's point of operation, power transmission apparatus, or other moving parts or areas that could unexpectedly release hazardous energy. . . . more »
Hazard identification: Too much sitting is bad--but so is too much standing! How to mix up the workday
March 2015
It's been all over the news in recent years: Americans sit too much, and it's killing us. We sit in our cars, we sit at the office, and we sit in front of our computers, television screens, video games, tablets, and phones--and while we're sitting, our metabolisms are changing. . . . more »
Featured resource: Sample return-to-work policy
March 2015
When employees are off work for a medical reason, whether work-related or not, their leave could stretch out much longer than expected and they might not return to work in a timely fashion. This isn't good for employers or employees. . . . more »
Appeals Board decisions: Employer burned by scattered documents; Do you know where your written plan is?
February 2015
Cal/OSHA is serious about enforcing its heat illness prevention standard, General Industry Safety Orders (GISO) Section 3395. Sacramento-based Rosendin Electric discovered this the hard way during a "heat sweep" the agency conducted on August 15, 2012. . . . more »
Trainer's handbook: Do your workers have a healthy heart? Teach them cardiac health basics
February 2015
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Many factors can affect a person's cardiac health, including his or her weight and overall health status, genetic heritage, and behaviors like diet, exercise, and smoking. . . . more »
Fall prevention: Prevent falls from height--Know your general industry and construction ropes
February 2015
The final month of 2014 was a notable one for falls in California. A contractor at a San Mateo home fell from a ladder on December 8 and later died. A worker at University of Southern California Medical Center in Los Angeles was checking a rooftop air handling unit on December 11 when he fell into it and was killed. Another worker survived a fall from a ladder at a San Gabriel construction site but was seriously injured. . . . more »
Emergency preparedness: Long hours put emergency responders at risk; Tips for employers
February 2015
Emergency workers who deploy to work at disaster sites caused by weather, earthquakes, epidemics, and other catastrophic events often put in much longer than 8-hour shifts. Although workers in these fields are generally highly committed to their jobs and find the jobs rewarding in ways that make long hours seem bearable, they are at substantially increased risk from fatigue. . . . more »
Ergonomics: NIOSH offers new guidance on injury prevention for wholesale workers
February 2015
Overexertion injuries account for approximately 30 percent of all occupational injuries, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In some sectors of the wholesale and retail trades--among freight, stock, and material movers and laborers--overexertion injuries to the lower back, shoulders, and upper limbs may account for as many as 60 percent of all lost-time injuries. . . . more »
Hazard identification: Fatalities highlight need for recent Cal/OSHA tree work guidelines
February 2015
Jimmy Herrera had worked as a landscaper for more than 10 years when he picked up a side job trimming palm fronds in downtown San Diego. While he was trimming one day in November 2014, the cut palm fronds collapsed, trapping Herrera against the tree in a deadly crushing hug. That same month, landscaper Ezequiel Yepez was trimming trees in La Habra when his aluminum pole trimmer contacted a power line, electrocuting him. . . . more »
Featured resource: Ergonomic hand tool analysis checklist
February 2015
Most ergonomic injuries result from the cumulative trauma of repeated forceful exertion, awkward postures, contact stress, vibration, bending, or lifting. Injuries that occur in larger muscle groups and joints (for example, the back, shoulder, and neck) are likely to be full-body exposures. But the same problems can occur on a smaller scale and lead to ergonomic hand injuries. . . . more »
Health and wellness: New study identifies 4 strategies that work for shift workers
January 2015
Shift work has been associated with a number of adverse health effects, from heart disease to cancer. Employers have tried many strategies to help shift workers stay safe, well rested, and healthy, but these strategies have fallen more into the "common sense" category than into the "scientifically validated best practices" category. . . . more »
Forklifts: Fatalities emphasize the need to elevate forklift safety
January 2015
A forklift usually has a driver's seat, an accelerator, a brake, a steering mechanism, and a horn--but don't let workers mistake a forklift for a car or truck. They're very different vehicles, and forklifts are a lot more dangerous to operate. A rash of recent fatalities in California and elsewhere illustrates forklift hazards and the need to elevate forklift safety to a priority in your workplace. . . . more »
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